Tuesday, December 20, 2011

OK, not EVERYTHING went right for the Patriots this weekend...

...because they lost Andre Carter for the season.

But other than that, they had something positive happen during every game slot. When play started on Sunday afternoon, there were four AFC teams at 10-3, and the Patriots were behind the others in playoff-seeding tie-breakers. To get a bye, assuming they won out, they needed either Houston OR both Baltimore and Pittsburgh to lose again. To get the number one seed, they needed Houston AND Baltimore and Pittsburgh to lose again. 36 hours later, they had sole possession of the best record in the AFC, just two home games against sub-.500 teams away from the number one seed, three home games away from hosting the AFC Championship game, and four home games away from the Super Bowl.

Early Sunday game:
Carolina 28, Houston 13
(Bonus: Kansas City 19, Green Bay 14, preserving New England's record for the longest regular season winning streak, and their status as the only undefeated team in the 16-game era.)
Late Sunday game:
New England 41, Denver 23
Sunday night game:
San Diego 34, Baltimore 14
Monday night game:
San Francisco 20, Pittsburgh 3
I actually have very little confidence after the home playoff losses of the last two years, and the defensive performances (which have been very offensive) this year. But after this weekend, they are very likely to enter the post-season as the number one seed in the AFC. Again.

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