2020 Patriots Season:
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Next Up: at Chargers
Pick Results: NE: 90.1% at LAC: 9.9%

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Dec 6th

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supafly

Suddenly sad and Brady-less
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You don't get to say 'the score was what it was' in one post, and in the other pretend that the Steelers are actually 4-2.
I don’t know why pointing the score out as being close in the 4th quarter is wrong, whether it occurred after a fumble, two fumbles or whatever. All of the Ravens games have been one score games since 2007, with the exception coming in our 2013 blowout victory.

And my response about the Steelers was to someone else who seemed to have written them off by saying that “they could sneak into the playoffs.” They’re 3-2-1 instead of our 4-2, with the difference being their tie in week one. That’s not “pretending” anything. I’m not pretending. I’m stating facts. They are in the thick of the divisional race at the moment and just knocked off the top team. Why should we talk about them “sneaking in?”
 

supafly

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This. Are we still supposed to be scared of the Jets and Giants too? Those Bills used to kill us in the 80s and 90s.
You’re just trolling.

Whatever they do to change their personnel or adapt is working, because they have a different cast of players outside of Flacco/Suggs and continue to give the Pats great games. That has been a constant since the 2007 matchup with plenty of examples. Every game but one has been a one-score result.
 

Flash

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Easy, elite defenses give us more trouble than elite offenses. Brady can go toe to toe with anyone when it comes to a shootout (even when Dobson was a starter). Some of our notable Playoff losses lately were to the best defenses in the league (Every Baltimore Playoff game prior to 2014, 2015 vs. Denver, 2013 vs. Denver, and while Brady did put up 500 yards, last year's SB vs. Philadelphia).

Looking at the AFC today...

Probably not good enough: Bengals, Dolphins, Titans, Texans, Jets

Stillers are not a threat and will probably never beat Brady until they build a good defense with a good defensive coordinator. Plus they are engulfed in drama recently.

Teams I'd be worried about:

1. Ravens: Really good defense (held teams to 0 points in the second half, saw that insane stat somewhere). Flacco is meh but I'm scared of Flacco in the Playoffs, who knows if he will go off again.
2. KC: While their defense is garbage right now, when Eric Berry and Justin Houston return their defense will be at least average, and with their explosive offense, an average defense is good enough for a deep Playoff run.
3. Chargers: They are a very well-rounded team, and if it weren't for the fact that someone eventually gets injured they'd probably win a few more Playoff games then they have. This is a wait-and-see team, if they make it to the Playoffs they will be dangerous.
4. Jags: Similarly a wait-and-see team. They are underperforming a lot but talent-wise they might be better than both KC and Baltimore. Again, we'd have to wait-and-see if they can make it to the Playoffs first.
 

supafly

Suddenly sad and Brady-less
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Chargersz

KC, Jax, and Pitt aren’t for real. Ravens offense is really bad.
Baltimore had the 10th ranked scoring offense last year, and currently hold the same spot through six games. They aren’t going to scare anyone, but they’ve probably improved on their WR options with Crabtree, Snead, and Brown.

Again, they probably aren’t anything to worry about, but their defense and general philosophy seem to follow a certain pattern and they always show up for games against NE, no matter what year it is. Still a lot of football to be played before this discussion can be taken to its right place for 2018.
 

sb1

Pro Bowl Player
Experienced QBs who can win on the road in the postseason can be tough, especially paired with a decent defense. While I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that they haven’t done anything versus us in over 5 years due to the two close, one score games, I think you make a fair point that every season is different.

That all said, I never agree with the thought of looking past teams, unless they’re the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s difficult not to look past the Bengals.

Any of KC, JAX, PIT, BAL, and even SD can pose challenges to the Pats for various reasons.

I also still think of them as SD. Probably always will :)
 

Silver Blue&Red

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Comments:

a.) The Patriots defense will determine how far this team goes, IMO. Not our opponents...

b.) Biggest threats by division:

AFC North: Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh can all give us trouble. Baltimore with defense...and the other two offensively. Not worried about the Browns as we don't play them this year...but I don't see it implausible that they make the play-offs though...
a few division wins and they could make it...

AFC South: I am less worried about this division than I was in August. Jacksonville is the biggest threat as they have the best combo of offense/defense. At least, with Tennessee...we can contain their offense which is very limited between Henry/Lewis and Corey Davis as the only weapons outside of Mariota......and Houston's OL is so bad that it makes our DL look good. Indy is a year away at least...maybe more.

AFC West: Chiefs' offense...and I am worried that Berry will make them even better...Berry really shut down Gronk in week 1 last year. The Chargers' offense is pretty good....I watch a lot of Charger games....they have a good offense/defensive balance. They were a tough out last year before we hit the BYE. Not worried about Denver unless we need to play there. Raiders are a dumpster fire.

c.) Don't even care about the NFC...but some divisions have it tougher. I am happy we are playing the NFC North this year even if we are 0-1 so far. Better than the NFC South, IMO.
I think we can beat the Jags, at full strength, no problem.

As far as KC goes. I don't think Berry is ever going to see the field. I hear he has an Achilles issue. Not to say they aren't a threat.

The Bengals are usually doable.
I think they are not a big issue.

My biggest concerns, out of your picks are Pitt and Baltimore. As usual.

Of coarse, this is all purely conjecture.:rolleyes:

I think we actually have a very good shot, barring injury, to go the Afccg.

But of course, I don't know sh!t.:D
 

juny

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Easy, elite defenses give us more trouble than elite offenses. Brady can go toe to toe with anyone when it comes to a shootout (even when Dobson was a starter). Some of our notable Playoff losses lately were to the best defenses in the league (Every Baltimore Playoff game prior to 2014, 2015 vs. Denver, 2013 vs. Denver, and while Brady did put up 500 yards, last year's SB vs. Philadelphia).

Looking at the AFC today...

Probably not good enough: Bengals, Dolphins, Titans, Texans, Jets

Stillers are not a threat and will probably never beat Brady until they build a good defense with a good defensive coordinator. Plus they are engulfed in drama recently.

Teams I'd be worried about:

1. Ravens: Really good defense (held teams to 0 points in the second half, saw that insane stat somewhere). Flacco is meh but I'm scared of Flacco in the Playoffs, who knows if he will go off again.
2. KC: While their defense is garbage right now, when Eric Berry and Justin Houston return their defense will be at least average, and with their explosive offense, an average defense is good enough for a deep Playoff run.
3. Chargers: They are a very well-rounded team, and if it weren't for the fact that someone eventually gets injured they'd probably win a few more Playoff games then they have. This is a wait-and-see team, if they make it to the Playoffs they will be dangerous.
4. Jags: Similarly a wait-and-see team. They are underperforming a lot but talent-wise they might be better than both KC and Baltimore. Again, we'd have to wait-and-see if they can make it to the Playoffs first.

It's 0 TDs in the second half for the Ravens D, still impressive in this offense happy league
 

Ice_Ice_Brady

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I see KC as a lot like the Manning Broncos. Home field is absolutely critical, and I don’t see either team winning, especially a playoff game, on the other’s home field. I still believe that the decision to play a goofy style of football in the season’s last game in 2015, and to choose to rest players over treating it like a playoff game, was the biggest miscalculation of the BB era when it comes to probabilities. Playing at Denver or at New England was essentially a 7 point swing in Vegas odds, or the same margin you’d lose if Brady got injured. Though I think the actual win percentage was even more glaring because Brady and Manning essentially won every home game against each other for about 10 years. Even the 2007 Patriots escaped a 10 point fourth quarter hole at Indy, and that was playing at their peak.

In closing, if the Patriots have a shot at the #1 seed against the Chiefs, I hope they’ll do everything imaginable to secure it.
 

luuked

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I still believe that the decision to play a goofy style of football in the season’s last game in 2015, and to choose to rest players over treating it like a playoff game, was the biggest miscalculation of the BB era when it comes to probabilities.

I agree that going into the Dolphins game with the mantra of "we will not throw until we get a first down via running the ball" most probably cost us HFA. That being said the lack of a running game ultimately was what did us in against Denver. We had to throw to convert all 3rd and shorts. So while there were other things in the game that affected the outcome (turnovers, XPs, 4th downs, OL falling apart) the big picture of issue if the 2015 team was the lack of a run game after Lewis tore his ACL.

So to bring it back to the Miami game.. on some level the entire rationale was not baseless but it was definitely not the right time to make a point.

And to connect it to 2018 I think that the run blocking (Hello Shaq Mason), Sony Michel and the run game in general will be a huge factor for us down the stretch. It takes the pressure off Brady on short downs, helps the play action game and makes us less predictable.
 

neuronet

Homer Little
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You are using something from over 10 years ago. They have not won against this team since the 2012 AFCCG and people still are borderline scared about things that happened like 2-3 team rebuilds ago.

If you to make it about their current talent on defense and Flacco not completely vomitting over himself then be my guest. That is at least a rational discussion. But bringing things up far in the past with the only thing in common being the same team colors and uniforms is silly to me.

They haven't fundamentally changed their approach to defense, and we haven't changed our basic offensive strategy. I expect, if we see them in the playoffs, a tough fight. Even if they are bad this year they won't be bad against us necessarily, because of match-ups. Obviously 2007 isn't directly relevant in terms of personnel, but it's a great example because we were so much better than them that year on paper, but in terms of systems (which are still largely the same, I think) it is a bad fit for us.
 
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luuked

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They haven't fundamentally changed their approach to defense, and we haven't changed our basic offensive strategy. I expect, if we see them in the playoffs, a tough fight. Even if they are bad this year they won't be bad against us necessarily, because of match-ups. Obviously 2007 isn't directly relevant in terms of personnel, but it's a great example because we were so much better than them that year on paper, but in terms of systems (which are still largely the same, I think) it is a bad fit for us.

Their system was the same when we blew them out two out of the last three times. A system is only as good as the players they have in it and back in the past they had a) more talent and b) the NFL rules still allowed to be dominant on defense.
 

1960Pats

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As it stands right now, the biggest threats to the Pats getting one of the top two seeds in the AFC are KC (some tough games coming up), the Steelers (they're only a half game back and have a home game vs the Pats), Chargers (if they take the AFCW from KC) and the Texans (much easier schedule).

I don't see either the LOLphins, Bunglas, Ratbirds, Titans or Jags as serious contenders.
 

Haterproof

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
As it stands right now, the biggest threats to the Pats getting one of the top two seeds in the AFC are KC (some tough games coming up), the Steelers (they're only a half game back and have a home game vs the Pats), Chargers (if they take the AFCW from KC) and the Texans (much easier schedule).

I don't see either the LOLphins, Bunglas, Ratbirds, Titans or Jags as serious contenders.
Pitts remaining schedule is no cakewalk! They play @ Jax (who's playoff hopes will be on life support) and @ New Orleans who's almost unbeatable at home! Not to mention they play the Chargers,Pats and Bengals at home! Talk about a tough stretch of games
 

lancerman

In the Starting Line-Up
The next three teams are probably Ravens/Chargers/Steelers. If we go by rep, it's the Ravens as they gave us trouble in the past while we've had the other two in check even in dominant years by then.

However, realistically the Chargers are the most complete team with the best QB play of the three.
 

Deus Irae

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Patriots
Steelers
Texans
Chiefs
Chargers (if they can stay healthy)


Titans/Bengals/Ravens/Jaguars(?)/Dolphins(?)
 

1960Pats

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Pitts remaining schedule is no cakewalk! They play @ Jax (who's playoff hopes will be on life support) and @ New Orleans who's almost unbeatable at home! Not to mention they play the Chargers,Pats and Bengals at home! Talk about a tough stretch of games

The Steelers have also played a decent schedule so far. They're clearly a tough opponent.

On the flip side there's the Houston Texans, who haven't played anybody but the Pats (an incredible 24-43 opponents record after that game) and won't play any other current winning teams but the NFCLeast Redskins.

I hate this 4 division setup.
 
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