Thursday, October 2, 2014

Postponing the Premature Patriots Panic

My initial reaction to the Patriots getting obliterated 41-14 by the Chiefs on Monday night was not what I might have expected it to be:

Yes, it is possible that for the first time in 14 seasons the New England Patriots are not a good football team.  But it's also quite likely that the situation is not as dire as it seems.  At 2-2, the Pats are exactly zero games out of first place in the AFC East.

New England has won the division with records of 12-4, 12-4 and 13-3 in each of the past three seasons, but 9-7 would've gotten the job done every time.  Over the last nine years the Patriots have won at least 10 games in every season, but they have no Super Bowl championships to show for it.  Maybe a bit of a struggle along the way is exactly what they need?

Take a look at four of the past seven Super Bowl winners:

2007 - The Giants began the year 0-2 after a 35-13 home drubbing at the hands of the Packers.
2010 - Green Bay opened the season 3-3 following a pair of back-to-back OT losses to Washington and Miami.
2011 - At one point the Giants lost four in a row, including a 49-24 mauling in New Orleans, dropping their record to 6-6.
2012 - After a 9-2, start the Ravens dropped four of their last five regular season games to limp into the playoffs as a Wild Card team.

I will say one thing though, New England's schedule scares me--a lot.  Here are their remaining games outside of the division: Cincinnati, Chicago, Denver, at Indianapolis, Detroit, Green Bay and at San Diego.  Ugh.  Maybe 9-7 is a realistic best-case scenario for the Patriots.  But even if that's true, they still shouldn't be counted out.

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