Woodhead explains why he's not giving up on the 2021 Pats


The New England Patriots still have plenty to prove after their blowout win over the New York Jets, but their recent play has inspired optimism.

Rookie quarterback Mac Jones is looking more comfortable with each week. In Sunday's 54-13 victory, the 23-year-old threw for 300 yards for the first time in his young career and added two touchdowns.

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The Patriots also were one play away from victories over the Miami Dolphins in Week 1, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4, and the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6. Had those plays gone their way, we could be looking at a team with a winning record heading into Sunday's matchup vs. the 4-2 Los Angeles Chargers.

Former Pats running back Danny Woodhead is a believer in New England's chances to compete for a playoff spot this year. He explained why on a brand new episode of the Next Pats Podcast with Phil Perry.

Next Pats Podcast: Danny Woodhead: DON’T SLEEP on the Patriots in 2021 | Listen & Follow | Watch on YouTube

"New England's almost two plays from being 4-2," Woodhead said. "I wouldn't be shocked if they win a bunch of games and maybe make the playoffs. I'm not saying they're going to, but like, they're good. They're a good football team. They were one play away from beating the Dolphins, could've beat the Bucs. ...


"If you can get to Thanksgiving at a respectable (record), that's where you can make the playoffs. Bill (Belichick) knows that. He always preached it. It's like, after Thanksgiving, that's where we see the teams. If they can get close to .500, I think they have a good chance. And that's the last team you want to play is New England."

Also discussed on the new episode: Woodhead reacts to Tom Brady’s shoutout on Monday Night Football. Woodhead on how his role on offense adapted in New England. And Seth Galina breaks down Sunday's Patriots-Chargers matchup.

Check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube below: