Jaguars coach Doug Marrone was asked today about his team’s status as a 9.5-point underdog at New England in the AFC Championship Game, and he said today that he wouldn’t expect anything different.
Marrone noted that the Patriots are always favored, and he’s right: The Patriots have been the favorites in all 18 games they’ve had this season and postseason.
“When you’re playing against New England, who hasn’t been an underdog?” Marrone said.
To find the answer to that question, we have to go back to Tom Brady‘s Deflategate suspension at the start of the 2016 season: In Week One of 2016, the Cardinals were nine-point favorites. That’s the last time the Patriots were underdogs. New England won that game 23-21 with Jimmy Garoppolo starting. Two weeks later, with Garoppolo injured, the Patriots had even odds against the Texans. New England won that game 27-0 with Jacoby Brissett starting.
The last time the Patriots were underdogs with Tom Brady was November 30, 2014 at Green Bay. The Packers, favored by 3, won 26-21. So Marrone is right: When you’re playing Tom Brady, you can expect to be an underdog.