Reassessing the New England Patriots final six games of the season

Christian Barmore #90 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Christian Barmore #90 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Dan Arnold #85 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots Week 17 opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

After the grueling four game stretch that we just discussed, the New England Patriots will close out their season with a pair of games against some much less imposing opponents, the first of which comes against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It will be headlined as a battle of the rookie quarterbacks in the week leading up, with Mac Jones taking on the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence. But these are two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum.

We all know that Jones landed in a fairly decent situation compared to that of his former Clemson adversary in Lawrence. Lawrence inhabited a team that had won just 12 games over the past three seasons and had a new head coach in Urban Meyer, and the results haven’t exactly been great so far. Jacksonville is just 2-7, proving that they need a lot more help than adding Lawrence into the fold.

In fact, Lawrence has been one of the main issues for the Jags this season. He has just 1983 yards through nine games, while throwing eight touchdowns and nine interceptions. Granted he has virtually no offensive line or weapons to speak of, but he hasn’t lived up to his prestigious billing thus far. James Robinson, Marvin Jones Jr., and Laviska Shenault Jr. highlight Lawrence’s supporting cast.

Defensively, things aren’t much better for Jacksonville. Gone are they days when the defense was led by guys like Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, and Yannick Ngakoue. Josh Allen and Myles Jack lead the way now, but this team is basically running a second string secondary, and that usually means you are giving up a lot of points.

The Patriots are better than the Jaguars on both sides of the ball, will be playing at home, and will almost certainly have a playoff spot on the line. A lot would have to go wrong in order for New England to lose this game, but in fairness we just saw that happen to Buffalo. Even then, the New England Patriots are in a good position to coast to a nice Week 17 victory.