It’s that time of the year when a lot of people are getting out their shovels to bury the New England Patriots.
That would be a mistake.
We’ve seen it play out that way in the past. Tom Brady is too old. The defense isn’t good enough. We’ve heard it all, and yet the Patriots somehow find a way to work through their issues and have a deep playoff run or even win it all.
That’s the Bill Belichick way.
Identify problems, fix them in December and make a run in January.
So, like some, I am not ready to bury the Patriots, even though they have offensive issues that showed up in a big way in their loss to Texans Sunday night, a team they had owned since Houston came into the league.
The Patriots have a speed issue outside in their passing game, which means nobody scares opponents down the field. That allows the opposition to double Julian Edelman, and there isn’t a Rob Gronkowski to bail the offense out.
That, in turn, leads to frustration for Brady, which we all clearly saw Sunday night.
Russell Wilson’s Seahawks won again in primetime while Kirk Cousins and the Vikings fell short, and there’s a lot to go over. Luckily, Will Brinson and the Pick Six Podcast Superfriends are here to break everything down, size up the top five coaches and more. Listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
But, fret not, the Patriots will get it right and again be a playoff factor. I think they will play well this week against the Kansas City Chiefs to show how they can turn things around.
For now, the Patriots are down to fifth spot in my Power Rankings, and they are being challenged in the AFC East by the Buffalo Bills. I still think New England will win the division, but a loss this week would make it interesting down the stretch.
The rest of the AFC has to be hoping that the Bills win the division. Going to Foxboro in January isn’t a winning proposition most of the time. But New England showed last season it could go out on the road and win in the playoffs.
That’s why the last four weeks are so important to this team. They have things to fix, but don’t dare bury them just yet.