Week 13 is in the books; a week that began with so much hope and promise in the AFCE, ended up crashing dreams. The Patriots continue their march towards having the best record in the conference. While both the Dolphins and Bills encountered that ugly number called 38.
The playoffs chances for anyone not named Patriots are basically over. Both the Dolphins and Bills would need to win out in order to have a chance. Dolphins would get in at 11-5, but at 10-6, the Bills may not have any tie breakers. Both teams lost by the same number, 38. Both teams lost to teams directly involved in their playoff push. Both teams played without a defense, and neither starting QB was interested in bringing their team back. If you turn it over and cannot defend in December, you will not be playing in January.
New England Patriots
This is a team that has played their first four games with quarterbacks named Garappolo and Brissett, The best TE in the NFL has been banged up all year, and is now done until 2017. Their best RB is just now getting into football shape. The DC continues to gain weight at a Ryan Brothers rate, yet, they continue to win, regardless of opponent.
With home games remaining against the Ravens and Jets, and away to Denver and Miami, the Patriots are in business. They may possibly lose one in Denver, but regardless, they are set to have the best record, and home field advantage until the SB in Houston.
The win streak created so much hope and lubed up boasting, but some, forgot to look at how the team had actually played in those games. Mostly Lady Luck decided to enjoy the South Florida sunshine, but the cold has arrived. The Dolphins are still a very respectable 7-5, but 8-8 is beginning to look like an achievement.
Yesterday, if you blinked 3-4 times, you discovered that the Ravens had a 24-0 lead. As the second half, started, it was then that you would expect your franchise QB to bring you back into a playoff strut. Ravens even took their foot off the gas, however Ryan and the Fins were in such a giving mood that they didn’t stop giving until the magic 38 was reached, bad performance by all, especially 3-INT-RT. If you cannot run in December, you better have a QB that throws to players wearing aqua.
Away at Jets and Bills, and hosting the Cardinals and Patriots, this team may not even win another game this year. I see a 1-3 record, and 8-8, which should be considered a step up from last year’s disaster. There is that famous 2% chance that the Fins finish 11-5 and make the playoffs.
The Bills had to win in Oakland in order to stay in the hunt, and for a half, they were doing just that. The Raiders tore apart that defense in the second half, and moved at will. I know many fans will be disappointed, but the Bills are not as good a team as this year’s version of the soon to be Las Vegas Raiders.
Tyrod Taylor is so unique and talented, but I have to continue to question if he will ever develop into the type of starter that can bring a team back. When you play Rex style football, you can fall behind, and have to be able to come back against good teams.
The schedule is very favorable as they host the Steelers, Browns and Dolphins. The away game is at the Jets. An 8-8 record appears to be Rex’s second year totals, however a 9-7 is achievable.
New York Jets
The Jets have little left to play for but pride and spoilers. They began that spoiler role tonight with a chance to knock the Colts out of the race for the AFCS crown. The Colts have historically not done well against the Jets since Manning’s last season, should be interesting. With games left against all three divisional teams, the Jets can only play for pride.