Did the New England Patriots have us fooled?
Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins in the regular-season finale marked a new low point for the Patriots as they limp into the postseason. Since riding a seven-game win streak into the bye week, New England has lost three of its last four with its only win coming against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.
Our Phil Perry admits he may have bought into the hype and given the Patriots a pass for their mental miscues. He discussed with Tom E. Curran in a brand new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.
"I feel as though I was duped," Perry said. "I was duped. ... Every time they have a bad game, I say, 'it feels like these are easy things for them to clean up.' And you say, 'yeah, but they haven't done it yet!' And I still, up until this game, I felt like they would be able to clean things up. Because against the Colts, to me, that was more a Patriots loss than a Colts win. Buffalo, I thought really talented team, maybe they don't win that game even if they play better, but I thought they didn't play the way they were capable of especially early in that game.
"So I said 'Those are exceptions, that's not the rule. This is a team that can be dependable, that can play cleanly, and if they just do the right things they can beat anybody.' I'm feeling like I was off on that."
The Patriots, who finished 10-7 on the campaign, will look to regain their midseason form when they visit the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night. The AFC Wild Card game is set for an 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff.
Also discussed in this episode: Assessing Mac Jones' recent struggles. What was the deal with the fourth-and-1 at the 50?! How much blame does the defense deserve? And is there a mental toughness problem with this team?