Patriots will be playoff underdogs for just 7th time in Brady era vs. Chiefs

John Tomase
January 14, 2019 - 9:45 am

The Patriots are preparing for their 39th playoff game with Tom Brady at quarterback, and Sunday's AFC title game in Kansas City will mark a rarity -- the Pats are underdogs.

The Chiefs have been installed as three-point favorites after leading the AFC from start to finish this season and dispatching the red-hot Colts in the divisional round.

The Patriots, meanwhile, are coming off an impressive dismantling of the Chargers on Sunday, but they'll be underdogs nonetheless as they take to the road, where they struggled all season.

How rare is their underdog status? Since they started this run during the 2001 season, the Patriots have been underdogs six times, per CBS. Sunday will mark No. 7.

The Patriots are 3-3 straight up in those six games, with wins over the heavily favored Steelers (minus-10) and Rams (minus-14) in the 2001 season to get this party started. They've won just once as an underdog since, their 2006 victory over the Chargers when Marlon McCree forget to take a knee on the would-be game-sealing interception.

Their last underdog game came in the 2013 AFC Championship, when they traveled to Denver getting five points and lost 26-16.

They were also three-point underdogs in the 2006 AFC title game against Peyton Manning at Indianapolis (a 38-34 loss) and for a turnover-filled 27-13 loss to the Broncos in Denver in 2005.