The New England Patriots have not won a playoff game in three years. If you had said that was going to happen, say, five years ago, people would’ve thought you were a crazy person. Now that Tom Brady is gone though, the Patriots have struggled to make a run past the first round.
I’m going to discuss the Patriots last season, how they can improve, and why Patriots fans shouldn’t be too worried.
Trouble at the top
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who considers himself a Patriots fan first and foremost, is disappointed with the team’s skid.
“After my family, there’s nothing more important to me than the New England Patriots and winning football games. That’s my passion, so whatever I can do — hopefully in a small way to make that happen — I’m there. I’m not happy that we haven’t won a playoff game in three years. I think about that a lot.”
Although the skid may be frustrating for Patriots fans, it should be noted their last win three years ago was a 13-3 Super Bowl victory against the Los Angeles Rams. Not too bad of a win to be your last, considering my team’s last playoff win was a 17-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which featured a 51-yard fumble recovery touchdown by Sean Taylor… in 2005.
The Patriots, despite not winning a playoff game in three years, were still 10-7 on the season, only one game back of the Buffalo Bills. They do need to win more divisional games though, as they were only 3-3 against divisional opponents.
Hope for the future
Despite the negative energy surrounding the Patriots playoff woes, Kraft has hope for the future. He remains confident in his young quarterback Mac Jones, as well as his esteemed head coach Bill Belichick.
Kraft seems to believe the Patriots can contend for a title as soon as this year. He believes the draft picks they’ve made recently, including Jones 15th overall, will help New England in the coming season to win more games and make a playoff push.
“I’d expect it to happen as soon as this year. I think we’ve made the commitments as an organization. I think we have a lot of talent, so we have a chance. Without a good coach and a good quarterback, no matter how good the other players are, I don’t think you can win consistently. Hopefully, I believe we have both — an outstanding coach and a good young prospect at quarterback.”
The Patriots lost in devastating fashion to the Buffalo Bills in the first round of this year’s playoffs, 47-17. They did show in the regular season that they are a good team, winning seven in a row at one point, including wins over the Bills, Titans, and Chargers.
The Patriots have maintained depth throughout their team this offseason by re-signing safety Devin McCourty and Kicker Nick Folk. Folk has made 55 straight field goals less than 50 yards, which is a record that has kept the Patriots kicking the past few years.
Kraft and Co. will have plenty of work to do to make sure the Patriots remain contencers, but they’re one of the best organizations in the NFL and have a lot of resources to make it happen.