McCarthy: Hard not to be haunted by bad losses as Pats travel to Kansas City

By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com

It’s going to snow on Sunday. The Patriots and Tom Brady have always seemed unbeatable in the snow.

But it won’t be snowing in Kansas City. We will all be shoveling here in Boston and it will be dry and cold where the Patriots are playing.

It shouldn’t have played out this way.

The AFC Championship should have been in Foxboro this year. The Patriots had every chance in the world to secure home field advantage, but they messed it up in a big way. They have nobody to blame but themselves for having to go on the road with their season on the line.

You can't possibly feel good about this team's chances away from home. There's an entire season's worth of disappointing road performances to digest.

It’s hard not to be haunted by the Miami Miracle. A warm winter day in South Florida once again cost the Patriots a chance to host the title game on a cold, and this time snowy, winter night in Foxboro.

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 09: Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins carries the ball for the game winning touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 09: Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins carries the ball for the game winning touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on December 9, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

I can’t escape the thought of the disastrous end to the 2015 season, when the Patriots earned themselves a trip to Denver by turning in a calamitous performance in Week 17 in Miami. There are too many similarities between this year and that year.

That Miami game in '15 cost the Patriots a trip to the Super Bowl. It cost the them another Lombardi trophy. I believed it then and I still believe it to this day. They would have beaten the Broncos had the AFC Championship Game been played in Foxboro, and they would have beaten that Panthers team two weeks later.

But it didn’t play out that way, and we’ll forever be left to think “what if?” about the 2015 Patriots.

I hope we’re not asking a similar question Monday morning.

What if anybody could tackle in Miami? What if the Patriots offense didn’t disappear in Pittsburgh? What if mediocre quarterbacks like Matt Stafford, Marcus Mariota, and Blake Bortles didn’t tear the Patriots apart in those awful road losses to those inferior teams?

If one of those outcomes were different, the Patriots would be playing at home on Sunday in the snow. Instead, they'll take their 3-5 record away from Gillette Stadium back on the road again with everything on the line.

I'd like their chances a lot more if this game were in Foxboro.

"What if?"

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.