The New England Patriots have been flying under the radar this offseason. Most of the sports radio or talk shows have not included the Patriots in any discussions regarding playoff or super bowl contenders. Although Patriots fans are upset with the lack of attention, it could be a positive.
The Patriots being underdogs is exactly where they should be, but it’s perfect. I am not going to deny that the Patriots are the worst team on paper in the AFC East, but that's why games aren’t played on paper. Also, I don’t think the Patriots are that far off from challenging the Miami Dolphins or Buffalo Bills in the division.
The Patriots are a functional offense away from being a playoff lock because that's really all they have lacked in recent seasons. If the Patriots had a functional offense last season, they would have been a playoff team. Ultimately, this is why being underdogs is perfect for the Patriots because they have made changes to fix their offense.
With the additions of Bill O’Brien, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Mike Gesicki, I expect the Patriot's offense to be functional and the best of the Mac Jones era. You combine this with the fact that Jones and Belichick have added motivation, and it should make you excited for what’s to come this season. Belichick and Jones have thrived in underdog roles before as Belichick has won Super Bowls with underdog teams, and Jones won a National Championship at Alabama after being third on the depth chart.
If the Patriots embrace the underdog mentality, it could lead to a season that surprises everyone. Patriots fans love an underdog story, so they will be rooting for Jones and Belichick to have a bounce-back season. Ultimately, it will be interesting to see how the narrative changes around the team this season.