The New England Patriots aren’t as flashy or as cool as the Baltimore Ravens or the Kansas City Chiefs, but they can’t be forgotten about this postseason.
We still have two weeks left in the regular season, but we do know a few things already. There are four teams that have earned their way into the AFC playoff picture and the New England Patriots are one of them. Though they need to take care of the Buffalo Bills on Saturday to win yet another AFC East crown, you’d be a fool to not think the Patriots have what it takes to go deep this year.
On this week’s episode of Stacking the Box, FanSided‘s Matt Verderame and Mark Carman, along with former NFL wide receiver Earl Bennett, look at the AFC playoff picture and decide if the Patriots are good enough this season to hang with the likes of the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs (14:01).
Verderame and Bennett are split on how to assess New England going forward. No, Verderame is not a fan of the lackluster Patriots offense. He cites their inability to score with great regularity will be a reason they’re probably not repeating as Super Bowl champions. That being said, he respects the New England culture and wouldn’t be shocked if they represented the AFC yet again.
As for Bennett, he’s a bit more of a believer in New England for a few reasons. He thinks the Patriots defense is the best unit in football and that cornerback Stephon Gilmore will be NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Bennett also thinks head coach Bill Belichick will give the Patriots a schematic advantage in any rematch the Patriots find themselves in the rest of the way.
So overall, no, we can’t be the least bit satisfied with what we’ve seen out of the Patriots offense this season. We all know deep down that it’s not good enough to win multiple playoff games, especially if the Patriots have to be on the road. That being said, if any team can make the necessary adjustments to reach the Super Bowl, it’s obviously New England.
The first step towards getting back to the Super Bowl is to complete the season sweep of the Bills to ensure that New England will once again be AFC East champions. After that, getting a first-round bye is crucial because the Patriots have yet to win a Super Bowl when the team has played on Wild Card Weekend. That’s where the real test is, avoiding another round of games.
Here are a few other topics discussed on this week’s episode of Stacking the Box:
- Where does Drew Brees rank all time? (1:10)
- Who is the best team in the NFC? (6:50)
- Are the Chiefs and Ravens the class of the AFC? (11:44)
- Matt Ryan interview (33:42)
All this and more!