Is New England this years Philadelphia?


Joe Zollo

Every time we count out the New England Patriots dynasty and say that "this will be the game where it ends," we always end up eating our words. This was in full effect on Sunday when New England steamrolled the Los Angeles Chargers 41-28 in Foxboro when most "experts" had picked the Patriots to lose in this game. 

The title of this article compares this year's Patriots team to last years Philadelphia team and you are probably wondering why. Well, let's lay out some facts that will put this into better perspective. 

In 2017, the Eagles were in the playoffs with a buy in the first round and in their first game on Divisional Round weekend, they were the underdogs to an Atlanta Falcons team who had just beaten the 3 seed, Los Angeles Rams. Granted, the Patriots were not the technical underdogs in this game as the line was set at -4 in New England's favor but it seemed nobody besides the team and the fans believed in them. Eerily the same as last year in Philadelphia. 

Fans and experts said the Eagles have a Quarterback that you cannot trust in the playoffs. Weirdly enough, they were saying the same thing about Tom Brady heading into these playoffs saying that he has had a down year and he cannot play like he used to. While this is true, he is still an elite QB in the NFL and the numbers and Pro Bowl selection show that. Nobody trusted the running game of each team, the secondary of each team, or the coaching of each team; yet they were, and have been winning. 

Now do not take this as a comparison between Foles and Brady because that is far from what I am saying. Each team has been considered underdogs, even though they each had a high seed heading into January. There is a reason the teams with first-round byes are where they are and the fact that each Conference Championship game has the 1 and 2 seeds in it says something about that extra week of rest. 

Foles and the Eagles had a little bit of magic in the playoffs last year and it seems like Brady and the Patriots may have something very similar brewing in the cold New England air. We will see how the Patriots fair going into Arrowhead but with Vegas setting the line at -3 in favor of Kansas City, the respect being showed to the Patriots is very real from the bookkeepers. Let's just see if that respect carries over into the analysts.