ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning for a discussion about the Patriots and other league news.
Schlereth, a former lineman who won three Super Bowls during his time in Washington and Denver in the 1990s, is as surprised as anyone at the Patriots' struggles of late.
"I'm sitting here kind of baffled as everybody else is," he said. "At what point does the switch get flipped, if you will? I know Tom Brady's come out [and said] it's hard to win in this league, it's hard, hard, hard. I get that. But still, you look at the Patriots [and think that] they're going to figure it out eventually because they always seem to. Just the AFC in general has been perplexing and a little bit baffling to me."
Schlereth isn't ready to predict a Patriots-Texans AFC championship game, despite the fact that New England and Houston are two of only three AFC teams with a record over .500 (along with the injury-ravaged Ravens).
"New England, I'm not so sure," Schlereth said. "I think it's going to be very imperative that they play home games. It's going to be hard. I think there's a couple of other teams that have the potential to be good. But New England certainly will be there in the end, at least be a playoff team. I agree with you, they'll win that division. But obviously if they don't rectify their defense and play better on the defensive end of the ball, there's going to be some struggles there."