Patriots could end doomsday talk with win over Ravens

The New England Patriots were dubbed a failure before they even trotted out on the field to face the Miami Dolphins in the season-opener at South Beach.

Their offense stunk in the preseason, and a usually buttoned-up coach Bill Belichick appeared to be flying by the seat of his pants with no offensive coordinator and no defensive coordinator. The loss to the Dolphins only fueled those concerns with the offense only scoring seven points and turning the ball over three times.

But then the Patriots showed some fight by going on the road and knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers. Imagine the perception they could generate if they do the same in their home opener with the visiting Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The supposed train wreck with problems across the board would suddenly be sitting pretty with a 2-1 record. Sure, they have a tough Week 4 matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, but the next six games are all winnable matchups.

They have scheduled run-ins with the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets twice. And four of those games will be held at Gillette Stadium.

There’s a legitimate opportunity for the Patriots to go on a real run and put themselves in a position to be one of those on-the-bubble teams vying for a playoff spot. Of course, that’s obviously a long ways from Sunday’s game against the Ravens.

But at the very least, the Patriots could kill the doomsday chatter with a victory over a Ravens team many expect to make the playoffs. They’d essentially be putting themselves in position to be taken seriously as a legitimate contender, and not just some doormat AFC team hanging on to past glory with a six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach in Bill Belichick.

The defense is much better than expected, and the offense is slowly, but surely, putting the puzzle together under the tutelage of Matt Patricia—of all people.

A win on Sunday could change the narrative from here on out.

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Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire