Seeing the New England Patriots in the playoffs is as certain as the sun coming up tomorrow. After all they have won the AFC East 12 out of the last 13 seasons. So what caused them to miss out that one year? Brady suffered a season ending injury in week one. Brady is the core of this team and missing out on four games could have heavy consequences for the Pats. It’s important to keep an eye on the Patriots, especially if they don’t win the first couple games. Generally speaking teams that lose the first game don’t have too much success in the postseason. Sportsbook users interested in NFL betting can gain some insight into the Pats chances for a postseason run; and either make a great bet on NFL playoffs, or prevent themselves from making a debilitating one.
There is no doubt that without Brady on the field New England is not the same team. Brady is suspended from practice, travel, and from being with the team in general. This means that Brady will not be able to mentor three-year veteran Jimmy Garoppolo. The 24-year old has been the only back-up for Brady for the last couple years. Garoppolo has made 12 appearances, completing 20 of 31 pass attempts for 188 yards and one touchdown. While that’s not a stellar performance the Patriots mostly have to focus on not turning the ball over. New England’s defense ranked in the top 10 for everything except pass yards, so the offense will still be expected to put up some points. Without Brady on the field one can only imagine the type of heat that other teams will throw at the young QB and it’ll be interesting to see if he can perform.
However, if Garoppolo is unable to lead the Patriots to success in their first couple games then New England’s odds to win the Super Bowl, or even make the playoffs, will continue to drop. While most people would agree that losing the first game is no big deal, as there are still 15 games left. The statistics tell a different story however; 75% of Super Bowl Champions since 1980 have all won in Week 1. Equally concerning is the fact that 69% of all teams to make the playoffs during that same span have all won in Week 1. This proves the gravity of being able to start off strong.
If the Patriots lose their first game then winning the second becomes even more important. Since 2007, 66 teams have begun the season with a 0-2 start. Only five of them were able to make the playoffs, that’s less than 10%. Of those five the one worth mentioning most is the 2007 New York Giants, the team that stopped New England’s perfect season. The Patriots will be facing the Dolphins in week 2. While that might seem like an easy win the Dolphins have manage to scrape 3 wins from the last 5 visits New England has made. With Garoppolo at the helm the Dolphins are betting to make that 4 out of 6.
Since 1980 only three teams have won the Super Bowl after losing the first two games. Indubitably the Patriots performance in the first two games will have a dire effect on their chances of success in the postseason.