AFC playoff chase 2021

Euclis20

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I have a real hard time seeing either Baltimore or Tennessee getting to 13-4. Both teams have been playing far worse than their current records, 5 straight wins to close it out seems pretty unlikely (especially considering Henry's absence and Baltimore's closing schedule).
 

RG33

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Nov 28, 2005
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It feels like the AFC is going to come down to the Pats, Chiefs, and Bills — and tomorrow night may give us some insight into how the stack rank ahould appear. I’m actually more nervous about Miami than I am about Baltimore/Tenn/Pitt with respect to a team sneaking in ans being a spoiler.

I think tomorrow night is going to be rough goings for the Pats, but man, a win would really separate them from the AFC pack right now.
 

Red Averages

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Apr 20, 2003
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I'm happy we have the #1 seed at the moment too but I'm going to start knocking posts and posters with adding nothing. Seriously. You have been called out multiple times to add context, discussion worthy posts, and actual content.

This post is none of those. Do better really fast.
Not sure if I’m allowed to push back on this, but really? The Patriots were down and out as little as a month ago. This thread is about the AFC Playoff Seeding. The Pats just became the #1 seed. That’s a huge deal. The post pointed it out, in a quick fashion without some long speculation piece. Surely on a Pats portion of the site that should be tolerated. I for one think this poster does a great job. Maybe we should be able to celebrate once in a while? I mean, this year is clearly surprising people….

Were people reporting the post? It just seems like a very strange time for a Moderator Stand. Let’s just be happy for this team, this management and the ability to celebrate it with such a diverse set of perspectives in this forum.
 

Red Averages

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Apr 20, 2003
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It feels like the AFC is going to come down to the Pats, Chiefs, and Bills — and tomorrow night may give us some insight into how the stack rank ahould appear. I’m actually more nervous about Miami than I am about Baltimore/Tenn/Pitt with respect to a team sneaking in ans being a spoiler.

I think tomorrow night is going to be rough goings for the Pats, but man, a win would really separate them from the AFC pack right now.
I’m in complete agreement. Most people are overlooking @Miami as an easy win, when it’s been far from that during the BB era, including a loss vs Miami already this year.

Yet, the Pats control their destiny at this point and if they are going to be a real contender this year it’s going to be a great stretch to find out how strong this team is. @ Buf, bye @ Indy, home vs Buf… going to be a really fascinating 3 weeks as a Pats fan. Meanwhile the NFC continues to look very strong which is a different thread topic.
 

tims4wins

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Unsure on KC. Their schedule is also pretty tough. Zero gimmes left on their schedule. They may get hot and get to 12-13 wins but it feels like 11 is more likely. I think the AFC East winner is the most likely one seed at this point, but anything can happen.
 

Dogman

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Not sure if I’m allowed to push back on this, but really? The Patriots were down and out as little as a month ago. This thread is about the AFC Playoff Seeding. The Pats just became the #1 seed. That’s a huge deal. The post pointed it out, in a quick fashion without some long speculation piece. Surely on a Pats portion of the site that should be tolerated. I for one think this poster does a great job. Maybe we should be able to celebrate once in a while? I mean, this year is clearly surprising people….

Were people reporting the post? It just seems like a very strange time for a Moderator Stand. Let’s just be happy for this team, this management and the ability to celebrate it with such a diverse set of perspectives in this forum.
There are gamethreads for these exact type posts where they are welcome, tolerated, whatever. Yes, we are the #1 seed. Yes, we are all excited/surprised/etc. A little context, a little discussion worthy content is required in non-gamethread threads. It has been a board standard since the site was created.

Good discussion and a little effort keeps people engaged. That is what we should all strive for all the time in non-gamethreads.

Nobody is stopping anybody from celebrating.
 

Spelunker

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Jul 17, 2005
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I'm happy we have the #1 seed at the moment too but I'm going to start knocking posts and posters with adding nothing. Seriously. You have been called out multiple times to add context, discussion worthy posts, and actual content.

This post is none of those. Do better really fast.
As someone that missed all football today and doesn't watch non-Pats games, it helped me know that we were now the 1 seed, so I found it useful.

Hell, it was literally why I came to this thread while walking home from dinner.
 

Dogman

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Then the context or content should be to give a little detail about Pitt beating Baltimore. It would have taken 10 seconds to write it out. Not asking much.

Let's keep this thread on AFC seeding with content. Backwash is open moving forward.
 

Cellar-Door

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I have a real hard time seeing either Baltimore or Tennessee getting to 13-4. Both teams have been playing far worse than their current records, 5 straight wins to close it out seems pretty unlikely (especially considering Henry's absence and Baltimore's closing schedule).
TENN should be much more healthy after the bye and this is the their schedule:
JAX
@PIT
SF
MIA
@HOU

That's a very favorable run, they could play pretty mediocre and still win any/all of those.
 

tims4wins

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Mahomes and the Chiefs are really struggling offensively. Last 8 for Mahomes:
207-337 (61.4%), 2,166 (6.43 YPA), 11 TD, 8 INT, 81.0 passer rating. He's gone over 100 in rating once in those 8 games, with only one other game over 90.

In those 8, they put up 31 against WFT and 41 against Vegas, but the other point totals look like: 20, 3, 20, 13, 19, 22.

Has the league figured out their offense? Is it an injury situation for key players? What's happened to the vaunted KC offense?
 

BaseballJones

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Mahomes and the Chiefs are really struggling offensively. Last 8 for Mahomes:
207-337 (61.4%), 2,166 (6.43 YPA), 11 TD, 8 INT, 81.0 passer rating. He's gone over 100 in rating once in those 8 games, with only one other game over 90.

In those 8, they put up 31 against WFT and 41 against Vegas, but the other point totals look like: 20, 3, 20, 13, 19, 22.

Has the league figured out their offense? Is it an injury situation for key players? What's happened to the vaunted KC offense?
Great questions. Unfortunately for the rest of the league, KC's defense has been located from the witness protection program. Their last five games:

vs NYG: 17 points, 300 yards
vs GB: 7 points, 301 yards
at LV: 14 points, 299 yards
vs Dal: 9 points, 276 yards
vs Den: 9 points, 404 yards

AVG: 11.2 points, 316.0 yards

Now a few caveats: (1) The Giants SUCK. They've averaged 14.4 points and 255.2 yards a game in their last five, so giving up 17 points and 300 yards to them isn't necessarily good defense. (2) The Packers were without Aaron Rodgers. (3) The Cowboys were missing Amari Cooper.

Still, you play who you play, and the Pats played Tennessee without AJ Brown and Derrick Henry. So give KC's defense credit - they've been pretty dominant lately. If they keep playing this kind of defense and the offense ever gets on track, they're going to be a monster to deal with. But for now, we should be grateful that the offense is struggling. I don't know how long it will last.

One piece to answering your question is regarding Kelce. He seems much less of a factor than he was in years past. Teams are working on him hard and the Chiefs don't seem to have an answer.

He's still getting his, so don't misunderstand. He's on pace for 99 receptions, 1,201 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Those numbers aren't far off his averages the prior three seasons (102 rec, 1,327 yds, 9 td). But it just doesn't FEEL like he's as dominant as he has been in the past. Maybe that's not a good gauge - my feelings - but he seems to be a lesser player than in years past.
 

BigSoxFan

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Man, I have no idea with the AFC this year. Like, zero clue. I would love for the Pats to rise to the top but I'm expecting 1-2 record these next 3 games and the end of that dream. Tennessee has a bit of a fluff schedule but they've lost so many key parts that it's hard to take them seriously as a real contender. Baltimore seems like a very fraudulent team that really isn't that good and is lucky to be 8-4. KC has looked pretty pedestrian on offense for a while now. Their defense has some playmaking so if Mahomes ever gets it together, they'll be tough. The Bills might be the best team of the bunch but they just lost Tre'Davious White so it's hard to know how that'll impact them. Both the Chargers and the Bengals are complete schizo teams that aren't likely to make deep January runs due to their own inconsistency.

Thus, I still default to KC until proven otherwise with Buffalo as the runner up. If the Pats can find a way to win today, then things get REALLY interesting on the top seed front. But I just feel like they're in for a tough night. This is going to be a very, very tough environment and it'll take some really good executive to pull out the W.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Great questions. Unfortunately for the rest of the league, KC's defense has been located from the witness protection program. Their last five games:

vs NYG: 17 points, 300 yards
vs GB: 7 points, 301 yards
at LV: 14 points, 299 yards
vs Dal: 9 points, 276 yards
vs Den: 9 points, 404 yards

AVG: 11.2 points, 316.0 yards

Now a few caveats: (1) The Giants SUCK. They've averaged 14.4 points and 255.2 yards a game in their last five, so giving up 17 points and 300 yards to them isn't necessarily good defense. (2) The Packers were without Aaron Rodgers. (3) The Cowboys were missing Amari Cooper.

Still, you play who you play, and the Pats played Tennessee without AJ Brown and Derrick Henry. So give KC's defense credit - they've been pretty dominant lately. If they keep playing this kind of defense and the offense ever gets on track, they're going to be a monster to deal with. But for now, we should be grateful that the offense is struggling. I don't know how long it will last.

One piece to answering your question is regarding Kelce. He seems much less of a factor than he was in years past. Teams are working on him hard and the Chiefs don't seem to have an answer.

He's still getting his, so don't misunderstand. He's on pace for 99 receptions, 1,201 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Those numbers aren't far off his averages the prior three seasons (102 rec, 1,327 yds, 9 td). But it just doesn't FEEL like he's as dominant as he has been in the past. Maybe that's not a good gauge - my feelings - but he seems to be a lesser player than in years past.
I'm still terrified of the Chiefs offense waking up but I do think there are some big scheme and personnel-related factors explaining their current performance that won't be that easy to shake off.

Teams are playing two deep safeties against them very frequently, taking away Tyreek's big plays down the field, and making the Chiefs put together longer drives to score. Hill has gone from 17 yards/reception to a few years back to 15 last year to 11 this year.

I think there are three reasons the Chiefs are struggling to deal with that consistently. First, Kelce isn't the same guy as you say. His production is only slightly down but it definitely feels like he's facing fewer doubles and just isn't as explosive. Second, their receiving options after Kelce and Hill are putrid. Most teams will be happy to let Byron Pringle and Mecole Hardman try to beat them. Finally, two high looks should open things up for the running game but Andy Reid just can't bring himself to be a coach that really commits to the run. Despite seeing two high all season KC still has like the 4th most skewed pass/run mix in the league.
 

AB in DC

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I’m in complete agreement. Most people are overlooking @Miami as an easy win, when it’s been far from that during the BB era, including a loss vs Miami already this year.
Not to mention that Miami is up to 6-7 and seems to be a much, much better team with Tua healthy. They're going to be spoilers for somebody.
 

Mooch

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Mahomes and the Chiefs are really struggling offensively. Last 8 for Mahomes:
207-337 (61.4%), 2,166 (6.43 YPA), 11 TD, 8 INT, 81.0 passer rating. He's gone over 100 in rating once in those 8 games, with only one other game over 90.

In those 8, they put up 31 against WFT and 41 against Vegas, but the other point totals look like: 20, 3, 20, 13, 19, 22.

Has the league figured out their offense? Is it an injury situation for key players? What's happened to the vaunted KC offense?
From a layman's perspective and without really studying All-22, I think a big part of the problem is Travis Kelce. He doesn't seem to be getting separation in the same way this season and Mahomes can't rely on him to open up the middle of the field right now. He's at least a step or two slower this year than he's been in years past and his hands have been iffy as well.
 

johnmd20

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From a layman's perspective and without really studying All-22, I think a big part of the problem is Travis Kelce. He doesn't seem to be getting separation in the same way this season and Mahomes can't rely on him to open up the middle of the field right now. He's at least a step or two slower this year than he's been in years past and his hands have been iffy as well.
Hitting the wall comes for us all. With regards to Kelce, you hate to see it.
 

Silverdude2167

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Not to mention that Miami is up to 6-7 and seems to be a much, much better team with Tua healthy. They're going to be spoilers for somebody.
I am having nightmares about the final game of the season and the Pats needing it to get in, with both teams sitting at 9-7.
 

AB in DC

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If the Pats get swept by Buffalo-Indy-Buffalo then the season is toast anyway.

Miami finishes vs. NYJ, @NO, @Ten, NE. Decent chance they'll be 8-7 at the end of December and well in contention for one of the wild card spots.
 

luckiestman

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Not to mention that Miami is up to 6-7 and seems to be a much, much better team with Tua healthy. They're going to be spoilers for somebody.
I don’t think they’re good but they have a favorable schedule. I expected them to be better this year.
 

Ralphwiggum

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If the Pats go 1-3 against playoff caliber teams in December with the #1 seed, the division, and a playoff spot all in play then they sort of deserve to be on the outside looking in.
 

DGreenwood

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I would love for the Pats to rise to the top but I'm expecting 1-2 record these next 3 games and the end of that dream.
Is this out of fear or is it based on an objective opinion? I'm curious because 1-2 against the Bills and Indy would end any hope I have of the Patriots having anything other than a puncher's chance of doing anything in the playoffs. If they're real contenders they should be able to prove it by going at least 2-1 over that stretch.
 

BigSoxFan

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Is this out of fear or is it based on an objective opinion? I'm curious because 1-2 against the Bills and Indy would end any hope I have of the Patriots having anything other than a puncher's chance of doing anything in the playoffs. If they're real contenders they should be able to prove it by going at least 2-1 over that stretch.
Not based out of fear. I just think that odds are they split with Buffalo and then the Indy game is a toss up given how Indy has played and will be home so I give them a slight advantage. Pats certainly are capable of winning 2 of next 3 (or even all 3) but I think it's a tall ask for a team with a rookie QB (as good as he is) and one that relies on precise execution over raw talent. Only thing that would dishearten me over these next 3 games is if they go 0-3 or if they are non-competitive in more than 1 game. I don't expect either to be the case. I'm expecting some tight games and hoping to be wrong about the end result.

I'm also the guy who questioned how this team would get to even 9 wins so I hope to once again be wrong.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Anything could happen but I think there is a lot of reason to believe the Patriots are as good as or slightly better than the Bills (post-White injury at least) and more than three points (to account for HFA) better than Indianapolis. So logically I have to believe 2-1 is more likely than 1-2.
 

DJnVa

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Anything could happen but I think there is a lot of reason to believe the Patriots are as good as or slightly better than the Bills (post-White injury at least) and more than three points (to account for HFA) better than Indianapolis. So logically I have to believe 2-1 is more likely than 1-2.
I think the Pats might be better too, but if this game tonight is as-advertised with the weather, the White injury may not hurt as much.

Then again, his replacement might only need to screw up one time in a low-scoring game, so...
 

Ed Hillel

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I think the Pats might be better too, but if this game tonight is as-advertised with the weather, the White injury may not hurt as much.

Then again, his replacement might only need to screw up one time in a low-scoring game, so...
As a Pats fan, I'll take nullifying the passing games in a matchup on the road versus the Bills.
 

Chance17

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I am having nightmares about the final game of the season and the Pats needing it to get in, with both teams sitting at 9-7.
Perhaps I'm overly optimistic, but my fear is more that a loss to Miami in week 18 is what ends up costing us the #1 seed.

But your version would certainly suck a whole lot more. Less so if Miami wouldn't actually get into the playoffs by beating us (just knock us out).
 

j-man

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1 NE 9-4 likely 12-5 now unless KC wins out ne should have the 1 seed
2 KC 8-4 likely 13-4 KC best shot for a loss is dec 16th
3 Tenn 8-4 likely 11-6 or 10-7 softer sch than indy
4 Balt 8-4 ciny could very well win the north now likely 10-7
5 buff 7-5 likely 10-7
6 ciny 7-5 other than @ denver ciny does not have to travel outside of ohio the rest of reg season likely 10-7
7 LAC with KC DEN @ home and @ hou vegas they are the fav for the 7 seed 7-5 likely 10-7
8 indy 7-6 likely 9-8
9 den 6-6 likely 9-8
10 cle 6-6 likely 8-9 no shot
11 pitt 6-5-1 after this week pitt will not be fav in another game likely 8-8-1
12 mia likely 9-8 tenn or no should beat Miami
13 vegas 6-6 with that loss sun if they do not beat denver they go 6-11 at best 8-9
14 Nyj 3-9 better luck next year
15 hou 2-10 see 14
16 jax 2-10 see 14
 

jsinger121

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Jul 25, 2005
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Pats with the bye. If they win in Indianapolis in 2 weeks and Buffalo losses to Tampa Bay it sets up the Patriots for a chance to reclaim the AFC East title at home.
 

Traut

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The safe bet is the Patriots drop a game somewhere but they are likely favorites with good reason in all of their remaining games.

Sure Indy at Indy is a tough game. But I’ll take Belichick and this team after a bye. And I’ll also take them winning out.

If Buffalo loses to Tampa they may very well be a broken team limping to the finish line.
 

alydar

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Pats with the bye. If they win in Indianapolis in 2 weeks and Buffalo losses to Tampa Bay it sets up the Patriots for a chance to reclaim the AFC East title at home.
Even if Buffalo beats Tampa, , if the Pats go 2-2 to finish out, so long as one of those two wins is the rematch against Buffalo, Pats win the division, I believe. Kinda nuts.
 

The Raccoon

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If the Bills lose at Tampa, they don't controll their own destiny. Even if they win all their other remaining games (incl. the rematch at Foxborough) they need the Pats to drop another game (Colts, Jax, Dolphins) to win the division.

If the Bills win against Tampa AND the rematch at Foxborough they are back in the driver seat and can win the division even if the Pats win all other games, if they (the Bills) win out as well.

In short, let's go TB12!
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I'm expecting 2-2 to finish the season. Would be very happy with 3-1. Indy, Bufallo, and Miami are all going to be slugfests.
 

cshea

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If the Bills lose at Tampa, they don't controll their own destiny. Even if they win all their other remaining games (incl. the rematch at Foxborough) they need the Pats to drop another game (Colts, Jax, Dolphins) to win the division.

If the Bills win against Tampa AND the rematch at Foxborough they are back in the driver seat and can win the division even if the Pats win all other games, if they (the Bills) win out as well.

In short, let's go TB12!
If the Bills lose to Tampa, they have to worry about just making it into the playoffs. They'd be 7-6 and likely fall to 9th or 10th in the conference depending on the outcome of other games.
 

axx

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If the Bills lose to Tampa, they have to worry about just making it into the playoffs. They'd be 7-6 and likely fall to 9th or 10th in the conference depending on the outcome of other games.
If there's one silver lining for them, it's unlikely that Pittsburgh or any of the 6 loss teams win out. Indy is playing pretty well though, and they do own the tiebreaker over Buffalo (and if they beat the Patriots they will too)
 

gmogmo

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Just want to take a moment, to say how excited I am that for all intents and purposes they've clinched at least a spot in the playoffs. Just 5 games ago all of us would have killed for that to be a reality, and now we're all (rightfully) talking about the path to the one seed and the only bye.
 

Ralphwiggum

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With the caveat that in no way did I have them at 9-4 at this point in the season with a path to the 1 seed in the playoffs and I am extremely happy with the way the season has played out, the two Miami games suck right now. Sucks they fumbled away a chance to win at home in September, and sucks that they have to play there in December with Miami looking much more like the team we thought they were. BB is 9-12 in Miami as HC of the NEP with the Pats having the superior team in almost all of those matchups. Winning there is going to be a challenge.
 

BaseballJones

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With the caveat that in no way did I have them at 9-4 at this point in the season with a path to the 1 seed in the playoffs and I am extremely happy with the way the season has played out, the two Miami games suck right now. Sucks they fumbled away a chance to win at home in September, and sucks that they have to play there in December with Miami looking much more like the team we thought they were. BB is 9-12 in Miami as HC of the NEP with the Pats having the superior team in almost all of those matchups. Winning there is going to be a challenge.
I'm going to wonder if that was a BB thing or a Brady thing, struggling in Miami. I mean, of course, it goes back earlier than BB, but that was back when the Dolphins were generally really good and the Patriots were generally not that good. Maybe Mac loves playing there and lights it up. Who knows.
 

jsinger121

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I'm going to wonder if that was a BB thing or a Brady thing, struggling in Miami. I mean, of course, it goes back earlier than BB, but that was back when the Dolphins were generally really good and the Patriots were generally not that good. Maybe Mac loves playing there and lights it up. Who knows.
He does as he crushed Ohio State in the National Title game there.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I'm going to wonder if that was a BB thing or a Brady thing, struggling in Miami. I mean, of course, it goes back earlier than BB, but that was back when the Dolphins were generally really good and the Patriots were generally not that good. Maybe Mac loves playing there and lights it up. Who knows.
Brady had some big games and big wins there, but they have just unquestionably struggled there more than just about anywhere else. I think it is just a function of the fact that divisional road games are generally tough. It is just that the Pats have dominated the Jets and Bills to such a ridiculous extent that being roughly .500 on the road against a divisional opponent feels lousy in comparison.
 

tims4wins

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Brady had some big games and big wins there, but they have just unquestionably struggled there more than just about anywhere else. I think it is just a function of the fact that divisional road games are generally tough. It is just that the Pats have dominated the Jets and Bills to such a ridiculous extent that being roughly .500 on the road against a divisional opponent feels lousy in comparison.
Plus, for instance 2018 - Brady absolutely lit it up and the defense fell flat on its face.
 

lexrageorge

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I'm going to wonder if that was a BB thing or a Brady thing, struggling in Miami. I mean, of course, it goes back earlier than BB, but that was back when the Dolphins were generally really good and the Patriots were generally not that good. Maybe Mac loves playing there and lights it up. Who knows.
Or just a random cluster of losses, which will happen over the course of 20+ seasons.

Looking at the losses:

2000: Pats lost to a better team (5-11 vs. 11-5 team that won AFC East and go on to AFCCG).
2001: Brady's 2nd career start while team was still searching for its identity.
2002: Lost to what was probably the better team.
2004: A true WTF loss in a game the Pats had in the bag, with Wes Welker and Sammy Morris doing the damage in the 4th quarter. One Morris tackle was done by Troy Brown.
2006: The famous 21-0 loss where nothing went right for the Pats. Then again, it was Nick Saban on the other sideline.
2009: Pats defense was showing the warning signs that this team was going nowhere.
2013: Brady drive in the 4th quarter falls short as Ryan Tannehill torches Pats D
2014: Season opens with a loss where the Pats were simply outplayed.
2015: Truly one of the worst losses of the Brady/Belichick era. BB got outcoached plain and simple.
2017: Pats defense lays an egg while Brady throws 2 picks.
2018: Miracle in Miami play
2020: Got beat by the better team

There's no real pattern there. A couple of freak losses in games that could have gone either way (2004, 2018), as well as a couple of games where the Pats simply got beat by the better team (2000, 2001, 2002, 2020), and a handful where they got outplayed despite the disparity in record. And that one loss in 2015 where Belichick truly messed up no matter what anyone says to the contrary.

Some memorable wins down there, however:

2003: Famous OT win where the Marlins infield dirt messed up the Dolphins kicker.
2005: Win in first game against Saban
2007: Absolute domination by Brady/Moss
2008: The Matt Cassel show avenging the Wildcat loss.
2010: Pats scored on a kickoff return, a short field set up by a blocked punt, a blocked FG, and a pick-6.
2011: Brady 99 yard pass to Welker seals a win
2012: Solid, unremarkable win that was the team's signature
2016: Pats destroy hapless Dolphins to cap Super Bowl regular season
2019: Brady being Brady
 

SMU_Sox

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Philly
I wouldn't sleep on Miami for a few reasons - they have a unique offense in the NFL. They run a ton of quick game and RPOs. The way the Patriots defense is set up and the way they play RPOs (usually having the ILBs play the run first) puts a lot of pressure on their DBs to quickly match Miami's WRs. I could see a guy like Waddle having a big day against them.

Fins like to go 12 (which is really 11) with Parker, Waddle, Gesicki, and Shaheen. Gesicki counts as a tight end but... that's super misleading. I think they would put JCJ on Parker, Mills on Waddle, Dugger/Phillips on Gesicki, Phillips/Dugger on Shaheen and have Bentley or Hightower handle the RB routes. Maybe Bryant and Mills bracket Waddle? My guess is that is more of a 2 high game. With Miami's OL and running game I think the Pats can counter with their usual big nickel or throw in more dime looks with Bryant, Dugger, DMC, and Phillips. Still, a quick and fast team that spreads you out isn't the easiest matchup for the Pats D. The Fins are content to efficiently march down the field using RPOs and play-actions and recently they've done just that. The game is also in Miami. Weird shit happens in Miami. That might just be the paranoia talking.

IND is a tough draw as well as a rematch with Buffalo in non ridiculous weather.

They definitely beat Jacksonville. So the range of outcomes is 1-3 to 4-0. I think 3-1 or 2-2 is the most likely outcome as most of you do. If I had to guess I would say 3-1 with them beating the Colts because Wentz turns it over too much, the Jaguars, and either the Fins or the Bills (I'll say beat Bills lose to Fins). Worst case scenario 11-6 with a rookie QB is a job well done. If they win the division Bill should get executive of the year. If they run the table and/or finish with the 1 seed I think you have to give him both the executive of the year and coach of the year. I know Kliff deserves credit too but winning the 1 seed with a rookie QB is a near-impossible feat.
 

Cotillion

New Member
Jun 11, 2019
5,402
Or just a random cluster of losses, which will happen over the course of 20+ seasons.

Looking at the losses:

2000: Pats lost to a better team (5-11 vs. 11-5 team that won AFC East and go on to AFCCG).
2001: Brady's 2nd career start while team was still searching for its identity.
2002: Lost to what was probably the better team.
2004: A true WTF loss in a game the Pats had in the bag, with Wes Welker and Sammy Morris doing the damage in the 4th quarter. One Morris tackle was done by Troy Brown.
2006: The famous 21-0 loss where nothing went right for the Pats. Then again, it was Nick Saban on the other sideline.
2009: Pats defense was showing the warning signs that this team was going nowhere.
2013: Brady drive in the 4th quarter falls short as Ryan Tannehill torches Pats D
2014: Season opens with a loss where the Pats were simply outplayed.
2015: Truly one of the worst losses of the Brady/Belichick era. BB got outcoached plain and simple.
2017: Pats defense lays an egg while Brady throws 2 picks.
2018: Miracle in Miami play
2020: Got beat by the better team

There's no real pattern there. A couple of freak losses in games that could have gone either way (2004, 2018), as well as a couple of games where the Pats simply got beat by the better team (2000, 2001, 2002, 2020), and a handful where they got outplayed despite the disparity in record. And that one loss in 2015 where Belichick truly messed up no matter what anyone says to the contrary.

Some memorable wins down there, however:

2003: Famous OT win where the Marlins infield dirt messed up the Dolphins kicker.
2005: Win in first game against Saban
2007: Absolute domination by Brady/Moss
2008: The Matt Cassel show avenging the Wildcat loss.
2010: Pats scored on a kickoff return, a short field set up by a blocked punt, a blocked FG, and a pick-6.
2011: Brady 99 yard pass to Welker seals a win
2012: Solid, unremarkable win that was the team's signature
2016: Pats destroy hapless Dolphins to cap Super Bowl regular season
2019: Brady being Brady
I'm with Ralph Wiggum. It's just we dominate the Bills and Jets so much, it's expected same should happen with Miami. But division games are always super weird. It happens all the time we see outside in other divisions where a rolling division leader drops inexplicable games against division opponents they should hammer.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,237
Maybe it's like the Mariano effect. The greatest reliever of all time, with these career numbers: 2.21 era, 1.00 whip. But vs. Boston: 2.86 era, 1.25 whip. I don't think the Sox did anything special to him. It's that the Sox generally were a pretty good team that saw him a LOT.