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So, While No One Was Looking, The Patriots Clinched A First Round Bye


buffalo34
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I believe I heard (or read) that the Patriots would've clinched a first round bye with a Houston loss tonight. If that's the case, then they have done just that.

If you back away from all of this, prior to this past Sunday the Patriots weren't even in control of their destiny for a first-round bye, heck, a number one seed. All the stars just mysteriously aligned for the Pats and:

The Ravens (#1 seed at the time)

The Texans (#2 seed),

and Steelers (would have #1 seed if they win out and win division, needing a Ravens loss)

ALL lose. Well, the Texans lost twice. Once to Carolina and again to the Colts (in which I slept through the entire game, and I miss a thriller).

Like seriously, how does this happen? Did Santa come really early for the Patriots or something?

Just wanted to point it out.

Well, I guess I'll do what I did last postseason: Pray that just somebody comes into Foxboro and unexpectedly knocks them out, because I have them written in to represent the AFC in Indy come February (yuck).

I like listening to Patriots talk radio here, and do anyone know why these guys are so pessimistic? I find it really funny. I've heard erronious stuff such as "What about when they have to go up against an actual good team again, because they've got to beat up on punching bags for the last month and a half."

I'm off to go watch the Texans/Colts NFL highlights On Demand.

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Last weekend (and last night), things could not have worked out better for NE. As you mentioned the Texans lost two, the Ravens lost, the Steelers lost, the Packers' pursuit of perfection ended... and as the cherry on top, the Jets lost too.

As Belichick says, you focus on what you can control. Win your own games, and things will typically fall into place for you. Although they're a young-ish team overall, they enough veterans who've been to this dance many, many times. They're a very solid late-season team and usually they benefit from that.

The AFC is a complete toss-up this year, IMO. All of the playoff teams have obvious flaws. The Steelers and Ravens (and Jets) are absolutely capable of beating the Patriots at Gillette, but I have a feeling this is going to be a good postseason run for NE. Belichick and Brady cannot be happy about two straight one-and-dones, and the clock is ticking here. Tom's not gonna be around forever.

The NFC is much stronger... I don't think it matters much who goes to Indy from that conference, they'll be the favorites in the SB no matter what. Or at least they should be.

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Yeah, the AFC doesn't really look all that dazzling. If Schaub and Peyton were healthy the AFC could be a 5 team wrecking crew in January, plus the Jets (lol). That's what's making the different right now.

I ultimately think the Jets will get into the playoffs. They were resurrected by the team that yours truly cheers for, after they had devastating losses to New England and Denver. I think the Jets have vs. Giants and @ Dolphins, while the Bengals have vs. Cardinals and vs. Ravens. Both teams have a tough matchup and a game that they should win.

I just can't picture Pittsburgh beating NE a second time. That defense just does not match up well with NE's offense. Baltimore could be a threat, but these guys are a Mr. Hyde on the road and they will have to most likely now travel through Foxboro if they meet up with NE come January. You know, I know NE went to Baltimore in 2007, but these two teams have clashed at Foxboro so many times since that it seems like that trip to Baltimore was a decade ago, lol.

If the Texans were healthy, I could see them presenting a huge problem for the Pats, as they would have a prolific QB, a top RB, and a top WR, and a defense that can get pressure. But the injury bug has just stabbed the Texans too many times in the chest for that to be the case.

I'd disregard the AFC West unless the Chargers continue to this late surge and Phillip Rivers place like late-season Phillip Rivers. They're the only western team that I could see keeping toe to toe with NE.

And you never know about the Jets. I was among the 99.9% pencilling in a Steelers visit to Foxboro for the AFC Championship game next year. Unlike past seasons where the Jets would at least split the Patriots, they've been swept by the Patriots this seaosn. Don't think it'll be a 3rd time's the charm scenario for them.

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The Ravens and Jets have been wild cards the last 2 years and the #5 and #6 seeds have won their wild card matchups both years. This year, the Pats have the lead for the #1 seed again. So, if the Ravens and Steelers finish #2 and #5 respectively (based on how things stand now), the Pats could be facing the Steelers at home in the divisional round. The Broncos need just 1 more win to knock the Chargers out of contention, if I am right, which they will vs Buffalo. I do not see the Broncos winning the wild card game vs the Steelers and if the Jets are not the #6 seed, I do not see the Bengals as a #6 seed beating the #3 seed, which is the Texans in all likelihood.

I see it playing out like this in the AFC:

#1 Pat #2 Ravens #3 Texans #4 Broncos #5 Steelers #6 Bengals/Jets

The #3 Texans can take out the Bengals or Jets if they get Andre Johnson going for at least 1 last regular season game before the playoffs.

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The AFC is a complete toss-up this year, IMO. All of the playoff teams have obvious flaws. The Steelers and Ravens (and Jets) are absolutely capable of beating the Patriots at Gillette, but I have a feeling this is going to be a good postseason run for NE. Belichick and Brady cannot be happy about two straight one-and-dones, and the clock is ticking here. Tom's not gonna be around forever.

He said he's going to play until he's 60 :P. Belichick will trade him before that happens, just like he did Vrabel, Moss, Bruschi, and Seymour.

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