Have you ever heard of a team playing with a chip on its collective shoulder? Well, it seems like spoiled-fan-syndrome, but Pro Football Talk has released their postseason predictions and the New England Patriots have been included- a lot.
Out of the five writers polled, the Patriots made it to the playoffs in every scenario. Four of them had the Patriots as the #1 seed in the AFC. Three of them had them losing to the three different #1 seed NFC teams in the Super Bowl. Two of the Super Bowls involved a Patriots vs Saints match-up. One (Florio's) had the Patriots as a Wild Card team eliminated in the Divisional Round.
The list is extremely premature, but it's food for thought for the Patriots' bulletin board. Teams, fans, and media people all know that the Patriots have a very good team on paper, but these contests have to be won on the field. Is it a complement that the Patriots at least made it to the Super Bowl in four predictions? Most likely. That won't prevent Bill Belichick and the Patriots from taking this season one game at a time, until they reach the Super Bowl. Hopefully, four of those predictions will be proven wrong.
Super Bowl XLVI: Packers over Patriots.
Super Bowl XLVI: Saints over Patriots.
Super Bowl XLVI: Falcons over Patriots.
Super Bowl: Patriots over Saints.
Wild-card round: Steelers over Jets, Pats over Texans, Cowboys over Eagles, Saints over 49ers.
Divisional round: Chargers over Steelers, Ravens over Pats, Saints over Packers, Falcons over Cowboys.
Conference championships: Chargers over Ravens, Saints over Falcons.
Super Bowl XLVI: Saints over Chargers.
Interesting note: Four had the San Diego Chargers making it to at least the AFCCG. Based on these predictions, a Patriots vs Chargers AFCCG and a Saints vs Falcons NFCCG seem to be the favorite match-ups. I would be excited for that.