Friday, November 06, 2009

Hot Stove topic #2: Patriots.

(Note: It's topic #1 for Kyle Flaherty.)

The Patriots, I'm sure you've noticed, are 5-2, and sit atop the AFC East. Their remaining schedule looks like this:
  • Miami
  • at Indianapolis
  • NY Jets
  • at New Orleans
  • at Miami
  • Carolina
  • at Buffalo
  • Jacksonville
  • at Houston

I see a lot of winnable games in there, but you tell me: which of these games do they win, and which do they lose? Where do they slot into the playoffs? And how far will they go this year?


adamcohen said...

I actually think this week is a trap game, with the Colts/Jets/Saints run coming up. Wait, what am I saying, Belichick doesn't fall for trap games.

I'm concerned about Indy the most (although they have some key injuries on defense right now - both teams may score >35 points), at New Orleans second.

I have some questions about the secondary but think the Pats could still win 4 out of the next 5. That would define this team as dominant, tee up home field advantage and take them to the Big Game. (Why does the NFL claim royalty rights on "Super Bowl"?)

Aaron_Strout said...

I spent some time last night at the ANA's "Casino Night" so I'm in a gambling kinda mood. I'm going to make the bullish prediction that the Pats win 7 out of their last 9. They will lose a close one in New Orleans and then lose one of the last two games to Jacksonville/Houston because they have clinched the AFC East and the #2 spot in the AFC (Colts are #1 with a 13-3 record). Denver is going to start to come back to earth but goes 11-5 as does Pittsburgh.

KFFBOS said...

Tried to get to this Friday but got a bit derailed. Some thoughts before my prediction.

--Brady and Moss both look like they are hitting their stride right now. Although they also have played some of the worst teams in the league.

--Matt Light is still banged up, although I'm impressed with Vollmer thus far, seems to have nice balance when pass defending and can shift to his outside from his inside nicely. Don't be surprised if Light is out for a few more weeks to see Belichick test Vollmer on the left side and shift Kaczur back.

--Merriweather is becoming a premiere SS. All-pro material. Fairly amazing when you consider the reputation this kid had coming into the league.

--Gostkowski is a better FG kicker than Vinateiri at the same point in their careers.

--Maroney seemed to get the message when they cut Galloway. But the guy has the penchant to just take a step back before the LOS at any time and try to bounce. Not going to work in today's NFL, even for Barry Sanders (who got out right in time to preserve his legacy, but that is another post).

--Belichick seemingly was playing for 2010/11 with the Seymour trade, the Galloway dump, the Maroney and Adalius Thomas benching; but as usual he most likely just knew he had the team he needed for a fairly weak schedule.

--I'm really going to miss football when the work stoppage happens.

--I'm really excited to watch Dan Snyder go CRAZY when the salary cap is lifted...and still lose.

--New Orleans reminds me of that Indy team of 05/06, with a bit better defense.

--Indy reminds me of the Pats in 03/04. They are truly a dominant team. Too bad Sanders is again out for the season, talk about bad luck.

--The AFC East is the second worst division in the league behind the NFC West. Pats have an easy run for the Division Title.

--AFC Central is much tighter than I ever thought. When Baltimore beats up on Cincy today they will both be 5-3. Neither team impresses me, nor does Pittsburgh.

--AFC West remains a joke to me until San Diego gets a coach that can win the playoffs.

What this all means is that the Pats will obviously win the division and to get the bye they only need to win seven more games. That is easy with these wins:

1) Miami
2) Jets
3) Miami
4) Carolina
5) Buffalo
6) Jacksonville
7) Indy/NO/Houston (?)

If NO or Indy were in the Razor I would probably see the Pats winning both of these, but don't see it happening. That being said they will put up a good fight against both and most likely win one, putting them at 11 wins.

Then we have Houston, end of the season, bye on the line...BIG game.

Are we up for a tailgating trip to Houston for the game my Austin-based friends?

KFFBOS said...

Oh, one more thing, don't be surprised if Houston beats Indy today. Just saying.