The Patriots need to win one of their next two games to guarantee a playoff spot. How concerned are you that they might be left out in the cold after dropping three-straight?
Raj: To be honest, I'm very concerned. After Baltimore's insane win, the Patriots are going to be playing a very determined Ravens team on their field. This team wants to make the playoffs really bad and the Pats have to watch out for that. Should they lose, then it might be the apocalypse for Patriots fans because the Bills will give it their all in the final week. New England just has to play the basics if they want to beat Baltimore. If they forget those, then they're screwed and I'm very nervous about that now.
Jason: I have zero concern on that front. I need a flow chart to figure all of the things that would have to happen in addition to losing two more games. But ignoring all that … they still have to play the Bills. The Buffalo Bills. The ones from Toronto. If they lose that one, I'll be thankful that I don't have to suffer through another week of watching them.
Derek: If the Patriots fail to get past Baltimore today, it will likely set up a do-or-die scenario against Buffalo next week. Yes, it's a home game against the Bills, but there's a reason for the phrase "on any given sunday…"
The Patriots need to avoid that scenario at all costs. That means showing up, in Baltimore, and taking the Ravens to the shed. Baltimore has arguably been the Patriots' biggest rival over the past five seasons, and beyond locking up their division, New England has the opportunity to step on the Ravens' collective throat and seriously jeopardize their playoff hopes. This is the team that prevented the Patriots from reaching the Super Bowl last season. This is a team who stole a game from New England in prime time courtesy of the replacement referees. This is the team that handed Belichick and Brady their worst playoff defeat of all time, and their first at home. This is the team of scumbags like Terrell Suggs. And this is a team who's riding high over the past five weeks, who everyone and their mother is picking to win this game, and completely discounting the determination and heart of this Patriots squad.
This is the type of game that the Patriots win. This is the type of game where Tom Brady brings his all and then some. So no, I'm not worried about the Patriots missing the playoffs, because they are going to win today.