The road to the Super Bowl in the AFC has gone through Foxboro seven times in the past 15 years, and one sports pundit believes the New England Patriots need that trend to continue this season more than ever.
During Tuesday’s edition of “The Herd” on FOX Sports 1, host Colin Cowherd highlighted a crucial worry he has for the Patriots come playoff time.
“I think at home, I think when they can get the ball rolling, I think this is a very good football team with the best coach in the NFL and an elite quarterback,” Cowherd said. “Pass rush is hit and miss. Gronk, physically, week to week is hit and miss. And by the way, Tom (Brady) this year is 18th in completion percentage, passer rating is 16th. I do believe this is one of those years they could use home field in January. I don’t think they can go on the road and beat a Kansas City or Pittsburgh or Houston this year. I just don’t.”
Cowherd’s skepticism has grounds. All three of New England’s losses this season have come on the road, and each was suffered in convincing fashion. In fact, the Patriots only have two road wins on the campaign thus far, one of which came against the lackluster Buffalo Bills.
Playing postseason contests away from Gillette Stadium also is somewhat foreign to the Pats. New England is 3-4 in road playoff tilts during the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era, not including neutral-site Super Bowls. And considering the success of the red-hot Chiefs and surging Los Angeles Chargers, the Patriots very well could be tasked with playing January football away from their home field.
If that ends up being the case, the Patriots at least will have an opportunity to curb their road woes ahead of the playoffs, as three of their final six regular-season games are away from Gillette Stadium.
Thumbnail photo via Jim Brown/USA TODAY Sports