The New England Patriots have fallen on hard times.
After rebounding from their slow start to the season, the Patriots have regressed in recent weeks, dropping back-to-back games to the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers. Now only has New England continued to be troubled by its road demons, but it’s also for the moment lost hold on a first-round playoff bye.
While Colin Cowherd hasn’t totally written off the Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII chances, he understandably has reservations about the two-time reigning AFC champions as the regular season winds down.
“Listen, I trust them late mostly because I don’t trust everybody else. Here’s the biggest issue: They’re now not dynamic enough to win big road games,” Cowhers said during Tuesday’s edition of “The Herd” on FOX Sports 1. “The thing I like about them: James White, Sony Michel, their running game. The thing I don’t like: their front seven defensively, they have one guy who can play — Trey Flowers. That is it. It’s just a bunch of dudes. Again, they’re a pretty good football team. Will they be better in January? Will I trust them if they have a home game in January? Yeah. But they’ve never won a Super Bowl without a bye and right now they’re not getting a bye.”
The criticism of New England’s front seven is warranted. Not only have the Patriots allowed 347 combined rushing yards over their last two games, but they’ve only registered three total sacks in their last four contests. The Pats have done a decent job limiting points this season, but a bend-but-don’t-break defense would be tough to totally trust in the playoffs.
All told, New England has a handful of issues to correct once the lights get brighter and a third straight trip to Super Sunday is on the line.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports