For the second time in 2021, the Patriots need to dig themselves out of a slump. Two straight losses have knocked the team out of the lead in the AFC East, and they now find themselves in a sprint to the finish in a crowded AFC Wild Card race.
After starting the season 2-4, the Patriots recovered to roll off seven straight wins. While this two-game losing streak doesn’t have nearly the duration of the early season struggles, the impact is just as big if not bigger with losses in two highly crucial games against the Colts and Bills.
Last time the Patriots turned things around, it started by blowing out the lowly Jets 54-13 at Gillette Stadium. At the time, some attributed the lopsided result to the Jets just being the Jets but it proved to be a catalyst. Much like in basketball, when a cold shooter may just need to see a shot go in even if it’s a layup, the Patriots seemingly needed to see themselves play a good game, regardless of the opponent. It worked, and Bill Belichick’s team wouldn’t lose again for two months.
This week, the Patriots should have another chance to ‘get right’ against a team from the NFL’s basement in the Jacksonville Jaguars. Not only are the Jaguars 2-13 with the worst point differential in the league (-179), but they’ve spent the week dealing with one of the league’s biggest COVID outbreaks. 27 players were on the reserve/COVID list for the Jags mid-week.
Of course, in the NFL it’s not a simple as snapping your fingers and winning by three touchdowns, no matter the opponent. Here’s three matchup to watch on Sunday…