Wendi Nix was joined by analysts Tedy Bruschi and Mark Schlereth to discuss the importance of the No. 1 playoff seed for the Patriots.
Bruschi: "It's important, you want it, you want home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. But for this New England Patriots team, I don't think it's that important because the last two years they've been in the playoffs -- no matter what seed they've had -- they've been bounced in [their first game]. So it's really playing well when the playoffs come, whether it's home, whether it's away, because they've shown this year that they play well at home and play well on the road. It just matters what they do. I don't think they should be concerned about home-field advantage, because when that divisional round comes around, I think that's what they have to focus on, playing solid in the playoffs, comparable to what they've done the last two seasons."
Schlereth: "I would say based upon this franchise, and the history of this franchise, they've been embarrassed the last couple of years in the playoffs. You don't want to get bounced. Ultimately, you look at the first-round bye and you'd love to have the first-round bye, simply because you have some guys -- and everybody at this point of the season -- is banged up. Everybody is hurt, and you want to get those guys fresh. But I believe the good thing for them is that they'll go into the last game of the season with something to play for -- that bye. That will keep them fresh and that will keep them sharp offensively. And let's face it, that's what they rely on. That offense carries that defense right now."
Bruschi: "This season, for the New England Patriots, wasn't really about the regular season. It's about can they answer the bell come playoff time, whether you got the bye or not. They are one first-round playoff loss away from huge questions there in New England."