FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26: Tom Brady #12 reacts with Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots after a touchdown during the third quarter of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Patriots Are In Late-Season Form

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It’s that time of year again.  The holidays, also known as the time where the Patriots separate themselves from the frauds of the AFC.

Any team can go on a winning streak in September and October.  Late November and December are a different story.  Examples: the Chiefs started 5-0 and have now lost 5 of their last 6.  The Bills started 5-2 and are now 6-5.

Meanwhile, the Pats just clinched their 17th consecutive winning season.  That’s the longest streak in the NFL since 1970.  In other words, we’ve been here before.

Sunday afternoon’s match-up against the Dolphins at Gillette went pretty much how everyone expected.  They weren’t perfect but they came away with a blowout 35-17 win.

Miami is especially struggling right now, having lost five in a row.  But they’re in the majority right now in the AFC when you talk about teams that aren’t built for late-season games.

Prior to week 12, there was one team that stood a sliver of a chance to disrupt New England’s path back to the Super Bowl.  That team was the Pittsburgh Steelers, who barely beat the Brett Hundley-led Packers (losers of 5 of their last 6) on Sunday night in Pittsburgh.

After that shaky performance, it’s getting harder to consider them a threat against a team that always plays their best football after Thanksgiving.  The Patriots will breeze past Mike Tomlin’s squad in three weeks and they’ll breeze past them in the AFC Championship a month later, resulting in a 2004 Super Bowl rematch against the Eagles.  If it wasn’t already, this season is becoming incredibly predictable.


Follow Jack Bardsley on Twitter @BostonsBigFour

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