Anybody who has watched the Pats the last 17 years, knows how important home field advantage has been to their success in the playoffs. Well first off, the Patriots have never made a Superbowl in which they did not secure at least a first round bye in the playoffs. The Patriots have been so dominate over the years, securring a bye has seemed like almost a given most years but now always the case. But as history has shown, the Patriots need the bye week and need to try to play as many games in the friendly confindes of Gillete Stadium as possible.
January 14th 2007, believe it or not that was the last time the Pats won a “true road game”. I don’t know about you guys but that was kinda mind-blowing when I saw the actual date of their last road win in the playoffs. Now the Patriots haven’t played many actual road playoff games the last 10 years because of how dominate they have been. That sunday afternoon in San Diego the Pats went up against the number one seed Chargers, they were loaded that season and still couldn’t beat the Patriots which at the time was a pretty big upset cause everyone thought that was gonna be the Chargers year.
The Pats have been so dominate the past 17 years that they haven’t had many road games to play in the playoffs, generally being the one or two seed has set them up pretty well. A loss on sunday to the Steelers, would make the one seed all but impossible being down two games with two to play. The Patriots would essentially lose control of their destiny if they lose this week. If the Jaguars continue to win, with a Pats loss on sunday they put them selves in serious danger of having to play on wild card weekend.
The Patriots are so good that usually they play maybe one or two regular season games per season that are monumental to their potential post season success. I wanna make it understood that by no means do I think if the Patriots lose on sunday that will be the nail in the coffin. But as we have seen the Patriots at home in the playoffs and the Patriots on the road are night and day, with that being said so are most teams in the NFL. I do think the Pats will beat the Steelers on sunday, and I do think when the dust settles the Pats are gonna end up with the number one seed in the AFC. But for some reason if they slip up on sunday, and maybe even slip below that Bye week line, we may not be in for a long run in january like we all have been prepping for all season.
Written By: Danny Dipietrantonio (@donato05)