With a 28-22 setback at Houston on Sunday night, the New England Patriots lost the inside track to the number-one seed in the AFC. Now sitting with a record of 10-2, the Patriots and Baltimore are tied with the Ravens owning the tiebreaker from their head-to-head victory in Week 10.
New England has some issues it is currently working through, most noticeably the team’s struggle on offense. The Patriots have combined for just 52 points in the three weeks since their bye and are now 2-2 over their last four games and have been outscored by 12 points — far from the dominance New England experienced in their opening eight games.
But does that top-spot in the AFC really matter? The Patriots won the Super Bowl as the two-seed last year and did so in 2001 and 2004 as well. New England is still 10-2 and has nearly a 90 percent chance to earn a first-round bye.
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Speaking on Boston radio station WEEI on Monday morning, a tired Tom Brady offered his insight on how much the number-one seed means at this point in the season.
I think that’s the furthest thing from my mind is anything like that. I don’t care about any of that stuff. I care about winning the game that’s coming up. I know everyone likes to think about those things this time of year and it doesn’t matter. We’ve been 10-0 at this point, we’ve been 5-5 at this point. You deal with those other things. You can’t control that, the only thing you can control is going out there and trying to win and putting ourselves in the best position and you can win one game per week, this week happens to be against the Chiefs and we’re going to have to play a great game to beat those guys.
Time to Panic?
Brady’s perspective is comforting in this situation. He has been a part of several different teams that haven’t been in the same position New England is currently in after Week 13. One thing that’s clear: the Patriots are still focused on finishing near the top of the conference.
That starts with a win over the Chiefs on Sunday. The Patriots are looking to avoid dropping two straight games like they did on two occasions last season. New England is 18-7 in its last 25 regular-season games dating back to last year.
Once again, Brady had an answer for facing adversity and didn’t make any excuses about the Patriots’ offense either.
It’s not like we haven’t dealt with losses before. We dealt with them last year, the year before that, and the year before that. A lot of it’s about mental toughness and realizing that if you don’t play well you don’t win, you’re not supposed to win. Sometimes you get away with it but most of the time you don’t so I don’t think anyone is feeling sorry for us, we’re not feeling sorry for us. We’re going to try to have a great week of preparation and see if we can get back to winning. Our focus is on football.
Source: New feed