BOSTON (CBS) – Since 1990, when the NFL expanded the postseason to include 12 teams, only 23 times in 196 chances has a team made the playoffs after falling to 0-2.
One of those 23 teams was the 2001 Patriots, which is the last New England club to fall to 0-2. They went on to win the Super Bowl, but history suggests Sunday’s matchup with the Vikings is basically a must-win.
The Patriots made some key offseason acquisitions, most notably Darrelle Revis, and coming off an AFC Championship Game it was surprising to see them play so poorly Week 1 in Miami. The Dolphins exposed some major holes on the Pats, and Minnesota is a better team than most people realize.
For those reasons, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak believe the Vikes will give the Patriots all they can handle come kickoff.
“It really slipped away for the Patriots in Miami. Early fourth quarter you’re in the game and you had no answer. We’re not used to seeing that from this team. We’re not used to seeing offensive line issues to the level that we did. We’re definitely not used to the run defense getting gashed like that,” said Gresh to lead the discussion. “Miami extended drives because you had tackling issues. You had chances to make plays and you couldn’t get it done.”
That was then, but can the Patriots fix their problems in a week’s time?
Scott Zolak isn’t so sure of that.
“I am a little shaky. I gotta admit that,” said Zolak. “We talked about the defense being a top five defense. The front seven got pushed around. That’s a scary thing. I still think the Patriots are going to win this game, but it’s not like it’s normal Zo where I’m like, ‘Patriots 34 Minnesota 10.’ There are reasons for concern. If Minnesota gets steamrolling and you can’t stop the run, you’ve got major issues then.”
Listen below for the full discussion: