Somebody – I think it was Mike Florio, but the names, faces and words just speed by like snowflakes in a blizzard at this point – opined recently about a "post-Patriots hangover." That teams playing the Patriots tend to struggle in the game immediately following.
Seemed plausible. Teams pour a lot into their games against the Patriots in terms of preparation and there’s normally a heightened level of interest and intensity. That teams could have a hard time refocusing and putting the Patriots behind them sounded like a real possibility.
Does it bear out?
Not exactly. But a little. This season, teams are 2-4 in games played the week after facing the Patriots. The Cowboys had a bye after losing 30-6 to the Pats so I took them out of the mix. Had I included them, the record would be 2-5.
The Patriots last three opponents prior to Sunday – Indianapolis, the Jets and Miami – all got knocked off pretty handily in their next game. Indy lost to the Saints, 27-21; the Jets lost to Oakland 34-20 and Miami lost to the Bills on Sunday 33-17.
The two teams to pull down post-Patriots wins this season did so against teams in utter disarray. The Steelers beat the Niners in Week 2, 43-18. The Bills beat Miami in Week 3, 41-14. Jacksonville, which lost to Indy by just a field goal, is an outlier that seemed to perform pretty well (relative to its normal showings) in its post-Patriots meeting.
In 2014, teams were 6-6-1 in the week immediately following a game against New England.
The results if you want ‘em: Miami lost 29-10 at Buffalo; Minnesota lost 20-9 at New Orleans; Oakland lost 38-14 to Miami; KC lost 22-17 to SF; Cincy tied Carolina 37-37; Buffalo beat Minny 17-16; Jets lost to Buffalo 43-23; Chicago had a bye; Denver beat Oakland 41-17; Detroit beat Chicago 34-17; Green Bay beat Atlanta 43-37; San Diego lost to Denver 22-10; Miami beat Minnesota 37-35; Jets beat Miami 37-24.
Ultimately, this doesn’t prove anything conclusively. But if I’m gonna sit here and go through all the games, you better be damn sure I’m going to do a post on it.