New Orleans Saints: Ranking each team in the 2019-20 NFL Playoffs
New England Patriots
New England finds itself in the playoffs again, only to play in a Wild Card Playoff for the first time since the 2009 season.
Quarterback Tom Brady has regressed with a limited amount of offensive weapons, as the best playmaker is the Super Bowl LIII MVP, wide receiver Julian Edelman.
On the offense, players such as running backs Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead, rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry and tight end Ben Watson don’t intimate opposing defenses.
Even Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time and certainly the best ever in the postseason, seems to be vulnerable this season.
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Brady has passed for 4,057 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions, but is starting to play like future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning did in his final season with the Denver Broncos in 2015.
He is responsible to just keep the boat afloat as the NFL’s best defense takes over.
New England allowed just 14.1 points per game in the 2019 season to top the league, and also generated a league-high 36 turnovers for a +21 turnover differential.
The combination of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady has been the best the NFL has ever witnessed, but this season has exposed the team’s weaknesses.
The defense is this team’s bread and butter and can make plays on special teams, like their several blocked punts for scores on the year.
The offense will have a difficult time if it needs to put together a game-winning drive or sustain possession late in the fourth quarter.
The Patriots may win one playoff game and fall to the Kansas City Chiefs the following week.
Another upset in Arrowhead Stadium is a possibility and the team may advance to the AFC Championship due to playoff experience, but that is this team’s ceiling.
New England could get one or two playoff victories and return home to Foxborough short of a fourth-straight Super Bowl appearance.