The New England Patriots are going into Sunday’s game against the New York Giants in a must-win situation, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. There are a lot of stats and points of contention on the line this Sunday, and after watching the Pittsburgh Steelers get more air than an Antoine Walker three-point shot, the Patriots have to prove that it was somehow an aberration. After all, S James Ihedigbo proclaimed, “That isn’t us,” after watching the Pittsburgh game film. Well, against the NFL’s fourth-best passing attack, you have to prove it.
If anyone has listened to Boston sports radio this week, you’ve likely heard the most criticism directed at Bill Belichick from fans and broadcasters since the infamous Lawyer Milloy trade. The national media has also been critical of the Patriots, namely the defense. The criticisms have revolved mostly around Belichick’s recent personnel decisions on defense and in the coaching staff. Can you imagine what it will be like if the Pats get torched in the air yet again by the team that denied them a perfect season just four short years ago?
Add onto that those little statistical anecdotes that have followed the Pats for much of the past decade. The Patriots haven’t lost to an NFC team at home since 2002 when they lost to the Green Bay Packers Week 6, 28-10. The Patriots have also rarely lost back-to-back games, doing so only twice since 2003. The last time they lost back-to-back games was in 2009 when they lost Week 12 to the New Orleans Saints and Week 13 to the Miami Dolphins.
Not only do they need to silence their critics, but they need to keep pace with the Buffalo Bills. For those paying attention, the Bills are currently in first place in the AFC East and could strengthen their grip this Sunday with a win over the division rival New York Jets, coupled with a Patriot loss.
What do you think?