The Patriots didn’t run roughshod over the NFL in the regular season like it has in years past, but New England still has as good of a chance as any other playoff team to win Super Bowl LIII.

Despite posting their worst regular-season record since the 2009 campaign, the Patriots managed to secure a first-round bye in the wide-open AFC playoff field. And if New England manages to win its third Lombardi Trophy in five years, Colin Cowherd believes the rest of the NFL should feel helpless.

“That would be almost discouraging for the rest of the league,” Cowherd said Friday on FOX Sports 1’s “The Herd.” “You’re like, ‘what?’ If they win it this year — (Julian) Edelman is Mr. Drop, Gronk’s (Rob Gronkowski) a shell of himself, they rebuilt the O-line, they got rid of Brandin Cooks and Josh Gordon. If the Patriots win this year it is discouraging.”

Cowherd’s take might be a bit extreme, but his overall point is tough to argue with. The Patriots by no means are the most talented team in these playoffs, so a Super Bowl title next month likely would require Tom Brady’s and Bill Belichick’s best work. But given their respective histories, there’s reason to believe we could see just that.

The Patriots won’t take the field until Jan. 13 when they’ll host either the Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens or Los Angeles Chargers for a divisional-round matchup.

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports