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Early look at playoff prospects and why Buffalo will play a big role

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Ice_Ice_Brady, Sep 21, 2010.

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  1. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady In the Starting Line-Up

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    Looking around the AFC, I see a lot of teams that have the talent to make a playoff push. Of course, it is week 2, so some of these teams will likely collapse and there may be a dark horse not mentioned here. However, looking at the talent on these rosters, I'd be surprised if the following teams aren't near or above .500 come December:

    New England
    NY Jets
    Miami
    Baltimore
    Pittsburgh
    Indianapolis
    Houston
    San Diego

    I also look at a couple of other teams like Tennessee and KC and wonder about their prospects. Of course, these teams all play each other, so they're not all going to have a good record. But hey, it's not to early to make a prediction that will probably look stupid in January. Usually it only takes a day or two for the NFL to make my predictions look bad. Here goes:

    Prediction 1: The Buffalo Bills will knock out one, or two, of the following three teams: NY Jets, Miami, New England

    Prediction 2: The AFC East will not produce a Wild Card team

    Reasons for this: This division faces a brutal schedule. First, it appears that NE, Miami, and NY are all capable of beating each other and the most desperate team will likely win, ala the NFC East for the last couple of years with Dallas, NYG, and Philly. I see the most likely scenario being splits between all of them, and I don't see any team going 5-1.

    In addition, I see some major flaws in each team. I think the Jets offense will be inconsistent, and injuries are already starting to pile up. The Patriots obviously struggle on the road and have their well-discussed issues. The Dolphins always seem to play up or down to their competition and I'm not sold on Henne. When you consider that each of these teams need to play each other for four games, along with Minnesota, Green Bay, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincy, Baltimore (meanwhile NY plays Houston while the Pats play Indy and SD), I don't see any of these teams winning 12 games. In fact, it looks like 11 games will take the division, and 10 might do the job on the tiebreaker.

    So here's where Buffalo fits in. As in every division, the one terrible team has six cracks at their opponent this season, and they'll always get a deadbeat opponent looking past them. Buffalo is not good, make no mistake about it, but this is the NFL, and I predict they go 1-5 or 2-4 in the division. With the scheduling and parity of the three AFC East contenders, a loss to Buffalo will be devastating for overall record and tiebreakers. So before we look past Buffalo, let's remember that holding serve might be more important than Miami/NY, since splits are most likely in these pairings.

    By the way, Buffalo sucked last year as well, but that didn't stop them from getting up for inter-divsional rivalries:

    -Lost to the Patriots by a total of 8 points over two games and had a chance to win both of them, especially the infamous opener
    -After getting trounced by Miami in the first matchup, they took them to the woodshed in game 2, 31-14.
    -Split with the Jets and were competitive in both games. Total point total over two games: Jets 35, Bills 32.

    So that makes 5 out of 6 games last year where the Bills either won or were within one possession of winning. I expect the same for this year. Don't sleep on this game, it's very important.
     
  2. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Good analysis. The Patriots cannot afford to look past anyone, period. With a non-existent running game and the defense at its present stage of evolution, every game promises to be an adventure.

    I'll add that we also can't assume home-home splits with Jersey and Miami. It's been so long since we've been swept by anyone in the division that we can't conceive it happening. Let's just hope this isn't the year.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
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