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Thanks to the epic meltdown by the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers advance in the NFL playoffs – and the New England Patriots will host the Kansas City Chiefs rather than Cincy in the division round of the 2015-2016 post-season.
Expect the New England offense to perform much better than it did last week. Let’s give credit where it is due: the Jet defense is one of the best in the NFL. The Patriots should have much better success on third down than they did last week, which will lead to more scoring opportunities – and at the same time keep the Patriot defense off the field, allowing them to be less gassed and more effective.
One nice thing about the final week of the season for football fans is that two networks televise both an early and late game, plus restrictions that prohibit another game being televised while the local team plays a home game are lifted. There was a time when this was actually standard operating procedure: the AFL would televise two games on NBC, and the NFL would televise two games on CBS. Once the two leagues merged that ended though, and now pro football fans are forced to either pay big bucks or watch crappy games between losing teams far too often.
While NFL Week 15 did not do much to the playoff picture other than end the misery for a handful of teams by officially eliminating them from post-season play, it did bring genuine contenders one step closer to clinching scenarios in Week 16. Eighteen teams still have at least a mathematical chance at a playoff spot with two weeks to go; that is surely something that Roger Goodell’s parity-driven Park Avenue league office that strives for participation banners is surely proud of.
Harmon has transitioned into a fine safety for the Patriots with a distinct role; one that he’s excelled on. Now he’ll have to take over DMac’s role for the time being.
In both conferences the race for the number five seed is nearly as meaningful as getting a first round bye. Both of the number five seeds will most likely be playing against a team with a .500 (or losing record). On the other hand the number six seed will have to go on the road against a ten or eleven-win club.
With the game with the Redskins on Sunday afternoon, here is a look at some of the more interesting numbers for the Patriots this week.
The Buffalo Bills did not suffer any letdown after their loss to the Patriots, as they traveled to south Florida and pummeled Miami, 41-14, to advance to 2-1. While three games is too soon to to reach a definitive conclusion, it appears that Buffalo has finally found a quarterback. Tyrod Taylor is completing 75% of his passes with seven touchdown passes to three interceptions, a passer rating of 116.1, and is also averaging 5.6 yards a carry. Taylor was able to stretch the defense with deep, accurate throws; against Miami he was 21-29 for 277 yards with three touchdowns, no picks, and no sacks. Tight end Charles Clay (5 catches for 82 yards and a TD at Miami) has been a nice pickup, and it is worth noting that the Bills were able to score those 41 points without LeSean McCoy.
The New England Patriots travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York to take on the Buffalo Bills at 1:00 pm eastern time on Sunday, September 20. This marks the 111th meeting between these two original AFL teams, with the Pats holding a decisive edge in the rivalry. The Patriots own a 67-42-1 all-time record against the Bills, and have won 26 of the last 29 contests….
Each of the four teams in the AFC East won their week one NFL games. From what we saw Sunday the division is filled with strong defenses that will be very competitive every week this season.
|TheAthletic - Sep 19th, 2021|