Last year, the Patriots suffered a humiliating defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs. Every game a year, you can bank on the Patriots buying into their own hype too much and then completely lay an egg of a game. This loss to Philadelphia is that game for the 2015 season. After the worst 5+ quarter stretch of the season, the Patriots have absorbed two losses, but are still very much in the picture for Home Field Advantage, depending on how the Cincinnati vs. Denver match-up goes. Just like Bill Belichick October 1, 2014, I will move on to the next game and that's that for the Philadelphia game.
I expect the Patriots to work doubly hard this week to eliminate the egregious mistakes that have plagued them the last six quarters. As a result of the humiliating loss, the Patriots will definitely start to fly under the radar a bit. It is still a team capable of making the Super Bowl run like last year, but there are certainly things that need to be fixed in the final four games of the season and it starts on the road in Houston. The Patriots will be on National Television after being flexed into the prime time slot, which parallels the Cincinnati blowout from last year. As I've said the last 14 weeks, I believe that 13 wins would get the Patriots Home Field advantage, although that picture is getting a bit murkier.
I don't think we'll hear a "We're on to Houston" quote from Bill Belichick this week, but the team will definitely be on that vibe. The Patriots will face familiar faces on the Texans coaching staff with former offensive coorindator Bill O'Brien calling the shots and former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel calling the defense. The Patriots also face the most unblockable defender in JJ Watt and the offensive line has turned out four straight terrible performances. By no means is Houston an easy opponent at 6-6 and playing at home with something to prove. The Patriots cannot afford to sleep-walk a second game in a row, or they're staring at the prospect of playing the Texans in the Wild Card round. I still don't think this team is as bad as the 2009 team that simply didn't care at times, so you know they will absolutely be ready to atone for their mistakes.