Late, critical mistake costs Patriots for 2nd straight week

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — For the second straight week, the fate of the New England Patriots was sealed on a late-game mistake. Entering a crucial three-game stretch with little margin for error, the Patriots saw their playoff hopes pushed further in the wrong direction when running back Rhamondre Stevenson fumbled the ball at a most inopportune moment. One of the team’s top performers this season, Stevenson lost the ball with New England trailing by four and facing first-and-goal from the Cincinnati 5-yard line. the Patriots entered the week one game out of a playoff spot. Loses by the Jets and Titans help keep the door ajar with games against division rivals Miami and Buffalo remaining.

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