Many were fearing the Patriots’ postseason chances after Week 3, but now, New England looks primed for another Super Bowl run.
The Patriots are coming off one of their most impressive wins of the season: a 24-10 Week 13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings at Gillette Stadium. New England can clinch its 10th straight AFC East title with a win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, and the No. 1 seed in the AFC still is well within its grasp.
It will by no means be a cakewalk to the top seed in the conference, but Colin Cowherd likes the Patriots’ chances of obtaining it. So much so that he had New England ranked No. 2 — only behind the New Orleans Saints — in his latest “Herd Hierarchy.”
“I only have the Patriots ahead of them (Kansas City Chiefs) because I think they could ultimately, with an easier schedule, get home field in Foxboro,” Cowherd said during Tuesday’s edition of “The Herd” on FOX Sports 1. “Patriots have won eight of nine. They don’t have a pass rush and they’re not an over-the-top, dynamic offense. I will say this, though. How do you beat the Chiefs? Take the ball out of their hands. With James White, Sony Michel — the rookie running back — and Rex Burkhead, that is the deepest running back troika they’ve ever had in New England. That’s as good as it gets for them. They’re becoming more of a ball control offense, and that’s how you beat Big Ben (Roethlisberger), that’s how you beat Philip Rivers and that’s how you beat Patrick Mahomes. Patriots at two.”
The Patriots’ rushing attack definitely has been coming into form of late, which only should continue with the return of Burkhead. But passing still is New England’s bread and butter, and things will be made much easier on Tom Brady now that he has his full arsenal of weapons healthy and ready to go.
All told, New England has found various ways to win this season, which will make the club a daunting matchup come playoff time.
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