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The "Unamed Source" is famous in media circles these days. This one in particular works in local sports media, but for any number of reasons, wants to stay anonymous.

I said before the playoffs that if the Patriots won it all, they might have to travel down the toughest road they’ve ever faced while winning a championship. This year’s road was as difficult as it could have been, but was it the toughest ever? If not, what was the toughest road taken by one of the six Patriot Super Bowl championship teams?

3. 2018 Tied for the second toughest total opponent record at 37-11. The Patriots had to beat the two best records in the AFC in the playoffs, not to mentioned go into Arrowhead and beat the league’s MVP, Patrick Mahomes. The top 3 toughest roads all have one thing in common: the road. All 3 had to win the AFC championship away from Foxborough.

2. 2001. Tied with 2018 for the toughest total opponent record (37-11) the 2001 Patriots had to beat Jon Gruden’s Raiders in the Snow Game, travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers in the title game and then upset the greatest show on turf in the Super Bowl as -14 underdogs. Kurt Warner was the MVP in 2001, and Raiders QB Rich Gannon won the award the following season.

1. 2004. The toughest road the Patriots have ever traversed by all metrics. Total opponent record: 40-8. The Patriots beat the 12-4 Colts at Gillette in the Divisional round and then traveled to Pittsburg to beat the 15-1 Steelers, who had thrashed New England back in October.

In the Super Bowl the Patriots caught a break and only had to play Andy Reid’s 13-3 Eagles. All told, the Patriots beat the league’s MVP, Peyton Manning, and the league’s Rookie of the Year, Ben Roethlisberger, and then the best QB/WR combo in the league, Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens.

Not only that, look at the three coaches they had to beat: Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher and Andy Reid. 2004 was the toughest road the Patriots have ever faced, but they won their third Lombardi trophy anyway.

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