The Patriots looked like a lock for Super Bowl LIV through the first few weeks of the 2019 NFL season.
Now, there’s a real chance New England doesn’t even see the divisional round.
The Patriots, who squandered a first-round bye with a brutal home loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, will be forced to play on Wild Card Weekend for the first time in a decade Saturday night when they host the Tennessee Titans. Colin Cowherd doesn’t believe there’s much of a gap between the third- and sixth-seeded AFC teams, and he expressed as much in his latest NFL power rankings, which slotted Tennesee at nine and New England at eight.
“An inch ahead of them just based on experience and they’ll be playing at home — New England,” Cowherd said Tuesday on FS1’s “The Herd. “I think New England beats Tennessee tight. Listen, they did finish No. 1 in the NFL in points allowed — 14 a game — and in total defense they finished No. 1 — 207 yards allowed a game — and turnover differential. So they’re smart, they’re experienced, they’re at home and for a game, that works. They are simply not dynamic enough offensively, in my opinion, to win at Kansas City or at Baltimore.”
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) December 31, 2019
We saw somewhat of a flip switch last season when the Patriots kicked it into a whole new gear en route to a Super Bowl LIII title, and their fans certainly are hoping history repeats itself in the team’s latest playoff go-around.