The Patriots have a few noteworthy games remaining on their 2020 regular-season schedule.
A “Thursday Night Football” tilt in Los Angeles against the Rams awaits New England in Week 14. After that primetime clash, the Patriots will travel to Miami for a date with the Dolphins, followed by a Week 16 “Monday Night Football” meeting with the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills in Foxboro.
But given its 5-6 record, New England cannot afford to look forward to any of those contests. All five games remaining on their docket effectively are must-wins for the Patriots as they try to sneak into the postseason. In turn, ESPN views New England’s upcoming road matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers as the Patriots’ most important game left.
“‘The Next One,'” Mike Reiss wrote. “When Tom Brady used to be asked which Super Bowl ring was his favorite, that was always his answer. In the case of the Patriots’ remaining schedule, it also applies because at 5-6 they likely can’t afford another loss if they want to keep their long-shot playoff hopes alive. The final five games unfold this way — at Chargers, at Rams, at Dolphins, vs. Bills, vs. Jets.”
New England should be above to improve to .500 on Sunday against the 3-8 Bolts. But as we saw in Week 11 in Houston, a dynamic quarterback can cover up multiple shortcomings of a bottom-tier team. The Patriots certainly aren’t in a position to overlook Justin Herbert and Co.