The Patriots' two consecutive losses have the locals in a panic . . . but not Cris Collinsworth.
The ex-Bengals receiver, who now serves as the analyst on NBC's 'Sunday Night Football', calls the Pats' recent struggles "a little bump in the road" and reminds everyone there's one big reason "it's hard to imagine this team not bouncing back".
"This is a league where you still pick the quarterback, and when you still pick the quarterback you still pick Tom Brady," Collinsworth said Tuesday on 'The Dan Patrick Show', while admitting that "maybe Brady's second now to Aaron Rodgers . . . "
He also thinks there's another reason New England lost two in a row.
"But I think the other thing we have to remember is who they played the last two weeks," said Collinwsworth. "Watching the Giants in that game, their pass rush is devastating now that they have all their injured players back. They were hitting Tom Brady about the time his back foot was hitting the ground, and that offensive line for the Patriots is not that bad. I mean, they are okay. So I think we have to give the Giants a little credit.
"Obviously, the Steelers surprised them. The Steelers came out and went completely out of character, played the bump-and-run coverage. The Patriots did not adjust very fast, which I thought was stunning in and of itself . . . We're talking about the great Bill Belichick, the great Tom Brady, and yet you could tell it took several quarters for them to figure out that this was what the Steelers were going to do to them."
But for all the happy talk, Collinsworth still has a warning:
"Now they get the Jets, and I thought the Jets played more like the Jets than I've seen them all season this past weekend against Buffalo."