Bedard: Time for the Patriots to put up or shut up with two-game road swing

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(Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Here they are, on the road again.

We're not even going to get into their issues in Miami Gardens against the Dolphins because, frankly, they don't make any sense. Let's just deal with the 2018 Patriots, those titans of the road who have been blasted away from Gillette by the Jaguars, Lions and Titans.

Average margin of defeat: 17.0 points.
Combined record of those opponents: 15-23.
Likely combined postseason berths: Zero.

Then there were the three victories: a seven-point win over the Bears that featured 14 points from the defense and special teams, a 19-point decision over the Bills in what was a 12-6 game in the fourth quarter; and the most recent defeat of those juggernaut Jets in which the score was 13-13 late in the third.

No matter how you slice it, these Patriots have not been good on the road. I know this is breaking news, but they're a perfect 6-0 at home and 3-3 on the road.

Any NFL team can be great at home. You have the comforts of being in your own environment, didn't have to get on a plane and go multiple time zones, the built-in and loud advantage with the crowd... Playing and winning at home is a lot easier in the NFL. Just about any team can do that. Seriously.

How do we know this? Well ... do you know who else is really good at home but mediocre or worse on the road?

The Bears (5-1, 3-3). The Cowboys (5-1, 2-4). The Titans (5-1, 2-5). The Panthers (5-1, 1-5). The Dolphins (5-1, 1-5).

You know what we call those teams in New England?

Pretenders. Front-runners. Soft-serve ice cream. Charmin.

Now, I don't think the Patriots should be grouped with those teams, but who can say for certain at this point? You are what your record says you are so, as of right now, the Patriots should be considered just as soft as those other teams.

But the Patriots have two games to prove themselves, starting Sunday in South Florida and continuing on to Pittsburgh.

According to their own franchise history, the Patriots have to sweep this two-game set. Why?