December 19, 2010
Rooting Interests for Patriots Fans
BY: Mike Saver
Entering the final weeks of the season, the Patriots couldn't be in a better position. They've been the hottest team in football since Thanksgiving, which coach Belichick always points to as the beginning of football season.
There are a lot of scenarios that could play out with regards to playoff seeding and division winners. The Patriots are currently the only team to have clinched a playoff spot but there's still more to be accomplished. Beating the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football isn't the only thing that's important. If some other things fall into place around the league, the Pats could very well be getting hats and t-shirts if they beat the Pack.
Here's a breakdown of where New England fan's rooting interests should lie this Sunday:
Pittsburgh over New York Jets
Miami over Buffalo
Out of pure spite of Gang Green, Patriots fans should hope Rex Ryan's big pre-season talk ends up with his team not even making the playoffs. The Jets losing would certainly help that cause but incase that doesn't happen Miami needs a win to keep them from clinching.
Jacksonville over Indianapolis
Meanwhile, Jacksonville has been historically dominated by the Patriots as New England holds a 5-0 record against the team. If Jacksonville can complete a season sweep of Indy on Sunday they will clinch the AFC South title and end Manning and the Colts' season early.
Kansas City over St. Louis
They have an explosive offense with Philip Rivers throwing to Antonio Gates, Malcolm Floyd and Vincent Jackson and they've got the number one ranked defense in the league. However, due to early season struggles, the Chargers are one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC West title. If the Chiefs lose on Sunday, the two will be tied. If they win against the Rams and win out the rest of the season the Bolts will be out of the playoffs.
Tom Brady and co. struggled against the Chargers in October and while that was early in the year - as a Patriots fan - I'd rather see the Kansas City Chiefs than San Diego in January.
Denver over Oakland, Arizona over Carolina, Chicago over Minnesota
By trading Richard Seymour last year, the Pats got the Raiders' first round pick. With a rookie salary scale, Patriots fans should hope that the pick is as high as possible. A successful Broncos debut for Tim Tebow against the Raiders would greatly serve that purpose.
The Patriots also own Carolina's second round pick as a result of trading a third rounder in the 2010 draft, and they own Minnesota's third round pick from the Randy Moss trade. Both of those look like they'll be high picks. Expect the Patriots team that's soaring right now to get even better next year.
And of course, most importantly, New England over Green Bay
Week 15 Picks:
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