The Patriots are rolling.
No news there.
Winners of 5 in a row, by an average of 22 points, the Patriots have to be happy with their level of play for the last 5 weeks. If you look closer though, only 1 of their last 5 wins has come against a team with a record above .500, and that was against the Colts at home.
Now, that’s not to say that their recent run hasn’t been impressive, because they have beaten the teams that they should beat, and they have done it in a dominant fashion. However, it’s safe to say that the Patriot’s opponent’s talent level has been subpar as of late. Not only that, but the only close games the Patriots have won this year have been at home, not on the road.
I say all this to point out that it might be GOOD for the Patriots if they struggle to put the game out of reach on Sunday when they travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins.
Well, as it stands right now, the Patriots will not have home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which could be crucial for a team that has yet to beat a playoff caliber team on the road.
The only teams the Patriots have beaten on the road are the Bills, Jets, and Rams. All of which are well below .500.
That leads me to believe that having to either come from behind/win a close game on the road is a challenge that the Patriots NEED to face before the postseason. I’m sure that I am not the only person who wants to see how the Patriots will respond on the road in a hostile environment WHEN (because it will happen at some point) their defense struggles and IF their OFFENSE struggles (although so far, that appears to be a big IF).
In the end, the Patriots only have two more road games left during the regular season; this week against Miami and against the 2-9 Jaguars. Which means the Patriots next road test might not come until the second round of the playoffs.
Which, in a roundabout way, could be really good news for the current #1 and #2 seeds in the AFC.
Follow Cole Stevenson on Twitter: @Cole_Stevenson