By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — It has been one of the weirdest weeks in recent memory for the Patriots leading up to a game, certainly one of the most bizarre and ominous weeks leading up to a playoff game in some time. Chandler Jones went off the rails, Bill Belichick got a mysterious black eye, and now Rob Gronkowski appears to have re-injured his knee. It’s been a week filled with bad omens and strange behavior in Foxboro.
All the makings of a Patriots blowout.
Now, I’m not predicting anything. Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff between the Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs will most likely be a close, tough battle. But, if anything, the lead-up to this game feels more and more like the Chiefs are going to walk into Foxboro and reenact last year’s debacle at Arrowhead on the Gillette Stadium turf. Very little has gone wrong for the Chiefs, while it seems that everything is working against the Patriots right now.
That’s why the Patriots will probably win by about 35.
I’m only saying this because of the proverbial “Any Given Sunday” idea that makes the NFL so endlessly watchable in the first place. Sometimes, the least expected thing is what happens. Patriots fans who saw Super Bowl XXXVI (and, for that matter, Super Bowl XLII) should know this. Did anyone predict a Chiefs blowout before that Monday Night game last year?
This isn’t based on any real analysis. It’s only a gut feeling. If that makes me a clown and a troll, so be it. But crazy things happen literally every weekend in the NFL. It’s borderline cosmic how NFL teams routinely subvert expectations week to week. The least expected outcome happens more often than you think. Who expected the Philadelphia Eagles to kick the Patriots’ ass in Foxboro?
Just saying. These things happen.
The most likely result of Saturday’s game is a tight matchup that is won in the final two minutes, probably on the leg of the kickers. But if the Patriots blow the Chiefs out, it would be a shock to myself and many fans across the country. I don’t think it’s going to happen, nor should I. Considering the way this whole week has gone for the Patriots, a blowout win is not likely at all to happen.
That’s why it’s probably going to happen.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.