It has become something of an everyday event to see the New England Patriots in the postseason, as they have made it there in 13 of the last 15 seasons. It has also become all too common to see them in the Super Bowl, with 6 (4-2) appearances in the big game in that same stretch of time. There is some talk that this may be the weakest of the Patriots teams in recent history, with that talk fueled by the fact that they lost 4 of their last 6 regular season games. This is a team with playoff pedigree, though, and they look like a good bet at odds of 4-1 to win Super Bowl.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 12, 2016
The Reasoning Behind Betting on New England
While a lot of people point to the Patriots closing few weeks of the season as a sign that they are weak, it should be noted that they have had more than their fair share of injuries to deal with. Getting the number 2 seed and the bye in the opening round may end up being a lifesaver for them, as a number of guys who wouldn’t have been healthy for Wild Card Weekend will now be available for the Divisional Round.
Even if the Patriots were left a little shorthanded during the postseason, you cannot discount the Brady/Belichick combination that has been so successful over the past 15 years. Even with all the talk about spying and deflated game ball, the Patriots have constantly found ways to overcome the adversity to win year after year. It helps to have one of the best QB’s the game has ever seen leading the way, not to mention a coach who seems to have the ability to get the better of just about everyone he faces. Compare this duo with the Alex Smith/Andy Reid combo the Patriots will face this weekend and you are looking at a serious mismatch, which may help explain why the Patriots are a 5-point favorite for that one.
This is not a team blessed with a ton of offensive weapons, but when you have Rob Gronkowski, do you really need a lot? He, perhaps even more than Brady, is the difference maker in this tam, as the Patriots win about 80% of the games that he plays in. He is a huge physical specimen who is almost impossible to stop, and he has over 1,100 yards this season, as well as 11 TD catches.
The Patriots also have a very solid front 7, which is sure to pose problems for a Kansas City Chiefs team that is not particularly blessed on offense. Alex Smith is mobile, and he may have to use his feet to escape the blitzes that are sure to be sent his way. Turnovers and big defensive plays are often one of the keys to winning in the playoffs, and this team certainly has that in its arsenal.