The Patriots have preformed outstandingly over the past four weeks. They have beaten the Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, and Indianapolis Colts in the past four games. Their only loss came against the best team in the NFL right now, the Green Bay Packers. If there was a playoff committee in the NFL, the Patriots would have one of the best resumes in the league. While those wins are great, they don’t mean a thing if the Patriots can’t keep winning.
Nov 30, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; New England Patriots tight end Tim Wright (81) and wide receiver Brandon LaFell (19) celebrate a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 26-21. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
This week New England takes on the Chargers, a potential playoff team. If the Patriots cannot beat the Chargers, then the AFC playoff picture will look completely different, and it will not be in favor of the Patriots.
Right now, the Patriots (9-3) are in control of the first seed in the AFC. However, the second place team in the AFC is the Denver Broncos (9-3). If both teams win out, the Patriots would have home field advantage throughout the playoffs because they beat the Broncos head to head. The Broncos will most likely win the rest of their games, their only real challenge is week 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals. If that’s the case, then this week is one of the most important games of the Patriots’ season.
Sometimes teams get discouraged after a close loss, and they go on a small losing streak. That would be destructive to the Patriots season after last week’s loss to Green Bay. A loss to the Chargers would cost New England the first place seed, and the hopes of playing in Gillette Stadium throughout the playoffs. Home field advantage is one of the most important advantages for the Patriots to have in the playoffs. According to pro-football-reference.com, the Patriots were the first seed in the AFC the last two times they made it to the Super Bowl.
Thankfully for Patriots fans, New England has not lost back to back games since 2012. I don’t believe the Patriots will lose this Sunday, or for the rest of the season.