BOSTON (CBS) – For a team with no real definitive road wins all season, the Patriots have a chance to prove themselves this Sunday in Baltimore against the Ravens.
With a win, the team would all but lock up the #2 seed in the AFC playoffs and provide a much needed confident boost for this young team.
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If they lose to the Ravens, say goodbye to the season, according to Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti.
“If the Patriots lose on Sunday they’ll have a losing record on the road and be 3-5 on the season not having beaten a legitimate team away from home. Doesn’t that sort of make them a fraud team?” said Mazz.
“I say ‘fraud team’ but I do have some compassion for what the Patriots have gone through this year, because I felt like at the beginning of the season their defense had turned a corner, and then all of a sudden everyone went down. In some ways it’s not their fault, it really isn’t.”
“So they’ve had some bad luck, but the AFC sucks and they can still make a little noise. But in order for me to believe it they need to win this weekend. They got to win this game to win me over,” said Mazz.
Lose this game, and the Patriots are in a tough position next Sunday at home against the Bills where they could very well be facing an elimination game.
Given the amount of injuries to key players, a first-round bye is just what this Patriots team needs before hosting that first game in the Divisional round.
A loss on Sunday would put that first-round bye and number two seed in serious jeopardy, and for those reasons Michael Felger’s developing opinion is that – for all intents and purposes – the 2013 season is riding on this game.
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“If they win on Sunday they well may have that number two seed – it depends on some other games, but you could come out of Sunday night with that number two seed locked up,” said Felger. “I think they could use a little bit of confidence by getting a big win on the road against a quality opponent. I think this team could use that.”
“If they lose on Sunday in Baltimore the season is over. I think this game is the world – this game is the season,” concluded Felgy.
With Jerod Mayo and Vince Wilfork both lost for the season, cornerback Aqib Talib is without question the most important player on that Patriots defense.
If they can manage to win in Baltimore, the Pats could have the option of resting the banged up hip of Aqib Talib for three weeks before that first playoff game.
Conversely, a loss would mean the Patriots would have to sell out in Week 17 just to make the dance.
Listen below for the full discussion: