New NFL schedule study finds Patriots have easiest road to Super Bowl LIV

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New NFL schedule study finds Patriots have easiest road to Super Bowl LIV

There hasn't been a repeat Super Bowl champion since the New England Patriots accomplished the feat in 2003 and 2004.

Fifteen years later, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are hoping to become the second head coach/quarterback duo to win back-to-back titles twice. The only duo to do it was Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll and quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Noll and Bradshaw both are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Brady and Belichick will one day join them.

Just getting to the Super Bowl again would be a historic accomplishment for the Patriots. It would make them the second team ever to reach the Super Bowl four consecutive seasons, joining the Buffalo Bills of the early 1990s.

What are the chances of the Patriots advancing to another Super Bowl?

John Breech of CBS Sports recently did a ranking assessing the difficulty of each team's path to Super Bowl LIV in Miami. The formula used three main factors: schedule difficulty, Super Bowl odds and the first three games of the season. Breech found that teams starting worse than 2-1 over the first three weeks rarely wind up in either the AFC or NFC Championship Game.

The Patriots actually have the easiest road. Here's what CBS Sports had to say about the Patriots' path.

32. New England Patriots

Based on our formula, the team with the easiest road to Super Bowl LIV is the New England Patriots, which probably won't come as a surprise to anyone, because the Patriots seem to have the easiest road every year. Although it seems like a vast NFL conspiracy to keep the Patriots on top, the fact of the matter is that we really just need to blame the Jets, Bills and Dolphins for not being competitive at all over the past 20 years. Anyway, we should probably just all save ourselves some time and go ahead and pencil them the Patriots in for the Super Bowl. 

Schedule difficulty rating: 84.375

The team with the toughest path to Super Bowl LIV is the Chicago Bears.

In case you forgot, here's the Patriots' 2019 regular season schedule.

Week 1: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, Sept. 8 at 8:20 p.m.)
Week 2: at Miami Dolphins (Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.)
Week 3: vs. New York Jets (Sunday, Sept. 22 at 1 p.m.)
Week 4: at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m.)
Week 5: at Washington Redskins (Sunday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m.)
Week 6: vs. New York Giants (Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8:20 p.m.)
Week 7: at New York Jets (Monday, Oct. 21 at 8:15 p.m.)
Week 8: vs. Cleveland Browns (Sunday, Oct. 27 at 4:25 p.m.)
Week 9: at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, Nov. 3 at 8:20 p.m.)
Week 10 Bye
Week 11: at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, Nov. 17 at 4:25 p.m.)
Week 12: vs. Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, Nov. 24 at 4:25 p.m.)
Week 13: at Houston Texans (Sunday, Dec. 1 at 8:20 p.m.)
Week 14: vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, Dec. 8 at 4:25 p.m.)
Week 15: at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m.)
Week 16: vs. Buffalo Bills (Saturday, Dec. 21 or Sunday, Dec. 22, time TBD)
Week 17: vs. Miami Dolphins (Sunday, Dec. 29 at 1 p.m.)

If you go by a strict strength of schedule ranking, which CBS did not do in its study, the Patriots have the second-easiest schedule in 2019 based on their opponents' win percentage (.473) from 2018. 

The Patriots went 11-5 last season, and it was their worst record since 2009. They did not secure homefield throughout the AFC playoffs, but they overcame it by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime at Arrowhead Stadium to win the AFC Championship Game.

New England's schedule for 2019 has the defending champs well-positioned to earn the conference's top seed and ensure the road to Super Bowl LIV again goes down Route 1 in Foxboro. 

Click for where Patriots stand in latest Super Bowl LIV odds>>>

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Rob Gronkowski revealed as White Tiger in 'The Masked Singer'

Rob Gronkowski revealed as White Tiger in 'The Masked Singer'

The identity of the mysterious (or not-so-serious depending on how you look at it) White Tiger was revealed on Wednesday night's episode of FOX's "The Masked Singer," and it was none other than ex-New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Gronk's "Masked Singer" tenure came to an end as he was eliminated from the Super 9, and that's when the world found out he was behind that White Tiger costume all along.

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His elimination came after this rather interesting rendition of "I'm Too Sexy".

Gronkowski has been a busy man since retiring from the NFL a year ago. On top of starring in "The Masked Singer," he's also served as an NFL analyst on FOX and has taken the stage in the WWE. That's while partnering with CBD company CBDMEDIC. The three-time Super Bowl champ truly has his hands in everything.

Here are a couple of Gronk's previous performances as White Tiger:

Patriots' Julian Edelman to lead free virtual Planet Fitness workout Thursday

Patriots' Julian Edelman to lead free virtual Planet Fitness workout Thursday

Gyms around the country have been shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but that's no excuse to not get a workout in.

If you're looking to get your workout routine back on track, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman and Planet Fitness have you covered. On Thursday, Edelman will lead a live virtual "work-in" on Planet Fitness' Facebook page at 7 p.m. ET.

"The virtual class is about 20 minutes and doesn't require any equipment," Planet Fitness stated in a press release. "The home workouts offer tools to combat stress, while providing motivation and inspiration sure to keep us all physically and mentally fit. And what’s more inspiring than our champion New England team!"

Below is the Facebook event for those interested in joining:

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If you can't make it to Edelman's live workout at 7 p.m., don't worry. The workout video will be available on the Planet Fitness Facebook page and YouTube channel after the broadcast is over.