The New England Patriots came into 2017 as the defending Superbowl champions and a huge favorite to repeat but they quickly lost the favorite tag when the season opened with a banner being raised then the Chiefs jumping all over them to the tune of a 42-27 beatdown.

After game one Patriots saw they had some defensive issues even after they signed Cornerback Stephon Gilmore. They got wins over New Orleans and Houston in the next 2 weeks but it was solely on the shoulders of Tom Brady who averaged 412.5 passing yards and 4 TDs in those contest. A week 4 home loss to Cam Newton and the Panthers dropped them to a 2-2 record to start the season. They would go on to win the next 4 games to send them into the bye week with a 6-2 record.

They would come out of the bye week and rattle of 4 more. That stretch gave them a total of a 8 straight wins. As the season progressed the chemistry between Brady and New Patriot Brandin Cooks had grown to the point that he was the teams leading receiver in 5 of the 8 games during the winning streak. The team would take their first lost since week 4 in week 14 on Monday night football to the Miami Dolphins. Xavien Howard intercepted Brady twice and the Dolphins offense steamrolled the New England defense on their was to a 27-20 outcome.

The teams next game was a showdown in Pittsburgh with the Steelers for the #1 seed in the AFC. In a game that saw All world tight end Rob Gronkowski rack up 168 yards receiving on 9 catches, the team trailer 24-16 as the 4th quarter started. They outscored Pittsburgh 11-0 to take the lead but the game would be won by a defensive stop. After a TD was overturned due to the erratic NFL catch rule, A fake spike play by Ben Roethlisberger would be tipped and intercepted by Duron Harmon as they would hold on for a 27-24 win.

They would win their final 2 games to end the year 13-3. The new faces like Mike Gilislee, Rex Burkhead and Cooks helped the offense stay as potent as ever even without Julian Edelman who was lost for the year with a knee injury in preseason.

After the bye they played host to the Titans who were coming off a come from behind win vs Kansas City. The youth of Tennessee vs the Savy of the Patriots made this one easy to call. They walked over Mariota and his team 35-14. The AFC Championship game was thought to be a Steelers rematch but the Jaguars were the opponent after they beat Pittsburgh 45-42 to advance. The Patriots fell behind the young Jags early but New England would storm back as only they can. A huge 4th quarter that saw Brady find Danny Amendola for 2 TDs gave them a 24-20 win and a chance at back to back Superbowl titles.

The New England Patriots definitely encountered more hurdles that you’d expect a 13-3 team to encounter but they made it through and will now do battle with the Philadelphia Eagles for the highest prize in the land on February 4th, 2018.