There is nothing from the last eight weeks of games that should make you feel confident about the New England Patriots in the playoffs. The Tennessee Titans look like a terrible matchup on paper for a defense that has been struggling a bit recently, and the Patriots offense has not been able to move the ball against pretty much anyone.
We are now in the playoffs, and the Patriots have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Patriots have not been one-and-done since January 2010, in fact, they have only been one-and-done twice in Brady’s 19-year career as a starting quarterback. I can’t imagine this being the third time, no matter what they have looked like recently.
Also, let’s go back to last season, when the “talking heads” were saying Brady was the worst QB left in the playoffs, and when everyone (including me) was concerned about the Los Angeles Chargers, who they easily dismantled. There was no reason to think they would be able to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium either, some moron on Pats Pulpit even wrote a blog about why they would lose (it was me). But, ultimately they won again. And then they shut down the second most explosive offense in the NFL in the Super Bowl.
The simple explanation for my confidence is that the Patriots have always performed better in the playoffs than people expected, even going back to the start of their original dynasty in 2001. They weren’t expected to be the Oakland Raiders, no one thought they would beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, and they were 14-point underdogs against the St. Louis Rams, with Sterling Sharpe saying that the game would be over by halftime.
My take is simple: until Bill Belichick and Tom Brady give me a reason to lose faith in them when a game and season are on the line, I will continue to believe. So, even though common sense says there’s no reason to be confident going into Saturday night, I am — and you should be too.
Pat is a host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @plane_pats