The New England Patriots still have some injury concerns, but a first-round playoff bye is allowing the team to do some healing.
Coming into Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins, the New England Patriots had made a habit out of overcoming fourth-quarter deficits. If you play with fire enough times, you eventually get burned.
Even if the New England Patriots had lost this game to the New Orleans Saints, they had still demonstrated they could go toe-to-toe with an elite NFL team. Thanks to Tom Brady and Kenbrell Thompkins, New England didn’t have to settle for a mere moral victory.
The New England Patriots still aren’t playing like an elite NFL team, but getting a 20-point win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday is a step in the right direction. If the team continues to improve, then next week’s game in Atlanta against a tough Falcons team should be very competitive.
One measure of a good NFL team is the ability to find a way to win even when it’s not playing its best football. This is something the New England Patriots proved Sunday in beating the Buffalo Bills 23-21 despite losing the turnover battle.