The New England Patriots have lost back-to-back games, are struggling to generate consistent offensive production, and are outside of the AFC playoff picture at the moment. While the team can still change its fortunes over the final five games of the regular season — starting in Week 14 against the Arizona Cardinals — optimism is low.
A look at the latest SB Nation Reacts survey shows that only 36 percent of Patriots fans are currently confident that the team is headed in the right direction. That number is not the lowest one of the season, with the team bottoming out at 23 percent following a Week 7 loss to Chicago. Still, it is noticeably low for a team planning to play its best football after Thanksgiving.
Its two games qualifying so far — a Thanksgiving day game against Minnesota followed by a division matchup versus Buffalo — were both lost to drop the team to 6-6 on the year. The playoffs are still very much within reach, but the Patriots’ trajectory is seen as concerning.
That being said, a turnaround of sorts could happen this week. As the league-wide portion of this week’s survey shows, after all, fans trust the Patriots to come away victoriously on Monday Night Football and improve to 7-6 on the season.
New England beating the Cardinals on the road is not an entirely unexpected outcome, with the team currently listed as 2-point favorites. Despite its recent struggles, it still has had a better season than a 4-8 Arizona team playing highly inconsistent football on both sides of the ball.
A win on Monday might be huge for the Patriots in terms of playoff outlook. If the games go down as projected by the fans participating in the Reacts survey this week, New England would leap-frog the New York Jets and move into the seventh seed in the AFC.
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