There's enough negatively on this board without piling on, but 9-7 is a distinct possibility, and 9-7 is not likely to be enough to win the division (it COULD be enough, contrary to popular belief, to grab the 6 seed, seeing as though Jax currently holds that distinction at 5-4). Here's one man's look at how the rest of the season plays out, with the Best Case Scenario (BCS) and Worst Case Scenario: 11/19 -- @Green Bay: Um, aren't the Packers suppose to suck?... I mean REALLY suck? Clearly this isn't a championship caliber team, but at 4-5 and playing some pretty decent ball, this is a dangerous team (believe it or not): BCS: The Patriots force Favre into his gunslinging ways, and find a way to get back on track away from their personal house of horrors (Gillette Stadium) WCS: Favre shreds the Patriots secondary, and the Patriots don't have the answer for a rejeuvenated Green Bay squad. Prediction: The Pack come back down to Earth after a tough division win on the road, with Lord Favre throwing 2 picks: Pats 31 GB 17 -- 7-3 11/26 -- Chicago: The Bears rebounded nicely last night against the Giants. BCS: Having played their previous two games on the road, the Bears come out flat and road-weary, allowing the Patriots to force Rex Grossman into costly mistake after costly mistake. WCS: Chicago plays up to their full potential (which is clearly better than New England's) Prediction: The Bears play ball control and use a swarming defense to stave off the Pats in a tough ballgame: Chi 17 NE 13 -- 7-4 12/3 -- Detroit: Despite spurts of decent play, the Lions still suck. BCS: Simply put, the Patriots take care of business against a horrendous team. WCS: Detroit gets up for this game a la their game against the Falcons, and the Pats let 'em hang around for too long, giving them a chance to win it in the final minutes. Prediction: A laugher: NE 34 Det 14 -- 8-4 12/10 -- @Miami: Although clearly not what everyone thought they would be, Miami has rebounded a bit, and now sits at 3-6 after two impressive wins (@Chi and KC) BCS: New England forces Harrington into mistakes (a la the first game), and the Pats make a huge statement on the road in the division. WCS: Miami shows spurts of life (a la the first game) without making the crucial mistakes, and plays the Patriots tough, as always. Prediction[:/B] This will be the killer. A loss here puts the Pats at 4-2 in the division, and may well kill off any tiebreaker possibilities with the Jets (assuming they hold on at home against Buffalo and can win at Miami on Christmas night.,.. who'd have thought THAT one would mean something?): Mia 23 NE 16 -- 8-5 12/17 -- Houston: Houston has been a tad frisky of late. They still aren't a real good football team, but they aren't the 1-15 disaster of last year, either... BCS: Knowing they need to take care of the cupcakes after the previous week's debacle, New England comes out firing on all cylinders, shuts down David Carr/Sage Rosenfels, and trounces the still bad Texans. WCS: Inexplicably, Houston shows up like they always do against the Jags, and like they did against Miami, forces the Pats into mistakes, and stuns the Gillette crowd. Prediction: Nah, can't see the Patriots losing this game. If they do, they don't deserve to play into 2007 anyway: NE 27 Hou 13 -- 9-5 12/24 -- @Jacksonville: The Jags are overrated, but still tough at home (well, except against Houston, that is): BCS: Taking advantage of an overrated Jaguars squad, the Patriots swarm Leftwich/Garrard, and do just enough on offense versus a tough defense to get the job done. WCS: Fighting for their own playoff lives, the Jags rally behind the home crowd (who can occasionally get into a game, albeit not often) and stifle the Patriots offense, ruining many a Christmas Eve. WCS: Hate this game for the Pats. I have a feeling this is a bad time to get the Jags at home. Jacksonville's offense sputters, but does enough defensively to force New England into a couple of costly turnovers: Jax 12 NE 10 -- 9-6 12/31 -- @Tennessee: The Titans have played the Colts and Ravens very tough, and trounced the Redskins on the road. BCS: The Pats take care of business and play with the necessary sense of urgency against a Titans team that has its cars running in the parking lot. WCS: The Titans let it all hang out with nothing to lose, and play like they did for the first halves of both the Colts and Ravens games. Prediction: I can't explain it, but I just despise this game. I can't see a Jeff Fisher team playing out the string without intensity and fire. This game reminds me of the Philly game in 99, where the Eagles were 2-12, the Pats were fighting for their playoff lives, and Philly dominated this one. Granted, these aren't the '99 Pats, but are they the '03-'04 Pats either? Ten 24 NE 17 -- 9-7 Obviously, I could look like a fool in 7 weeks as the Pats sit at 13-3, but 9-7 IS distinctly possible. Will 9-7 be enough??