By: Andrew Parker
It’s December and the NFL regular season is winding down. There is also a couple common story lines that we hear every single year about the Patriots.
“Tom Brady is done, he just isn’t good anymore.”
“The Patriots dynasty is over. They just aren’t the same team anymore.”
Same old, same old.
I do agree that this year has been alarming, as the Patriots cannot seem to win a road game against sub-par teams to save their life. I also know that they are in first place and going to win the division again, and get to host at least one game at home where they are undefeated.
With all jokes aside, the Patriots are going to be okay. They have the best QB to ever walk the planet, they finally have a healthy (ish) Gronk, and the defense isn’t playing terrible. That could be a recipe for some success in the playoffs. And lets face it, the AFC is not very strong this year. The Chiefs currently lead the AFC with the 31st ranked defense… just let that sink in.
Lets take a look at the current standings and playoff picture.
If things ended today, the Patriots would be playing the Ravens in the first round at home. Baltimore has a very good defense and we all know what having a very good defense does for you in the playoffs (look at the Seahawks and Broncos last championship). I still would never be able to take a rookie Lamar Jackson on the road at Foxborough in his first ever playoff start to win that game. I also really believe that the Chiefs are not all that, and minus Kareem Hunt they are hurting even more.
It is actually very possible that the Pats win out the last two games, facing the Bills and Jets. This week should be very interesting as the teams around the Patriots all have some tough games.
Houston travels to Philadelphia, where the Eagles have been a lot better of late and could pull off the upset. The Patriots own the tie-breaker over the Texans because of a win to start off the season.
Kansas City plays at Seattle, and the Seahawks have been playing good football, minus the slip up against the 49ers last week. They are not an easy team to beat at home. The Patriots also own the tie-breaker over the Chiefs if they so happen to lose these last two games, even though I am sure the Chargers would pass them up if so.
I’m sure plenty of Pats fans will be scoreboard watching this week, being fearful as ever of having to play a road playoff game. As for me, I will be enjoying a nice easy win over the Bills at Gillette and letting everything work itself out.
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Cover photo via: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports