The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Guess Who’s in the NFL Playoff Hunt?

Posted on | November 8, 2021 | Comments Off on Guess Who’s in the NFL Playoff Hunt?

On Oct. 17, after the New England Patriots lost a home game to the Dallas Cowboys, NBC Sports ran a story with this headline:

Could Patriots make the playoffs despite
2-4 record? Here’s what history says

Three weeks later — and three wins later — the AFC East standings:

Buffalo Bills ………………. 5-3
New England Patriots … 5-4
New York Jets …………… 2-6
Miami Dolphins ………… 2-7

The AFC playoff competition is wild this year. The Patriots and the Bills are among seven teams (along with the Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Bengals and Browns) with five wins after Week Nine.

It helps New England that Buffalo got upset Sunday by the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, but the Patriots now control their own playoff destiny, thanks to a crucial road victory against the Carolina Panthers:

Bill Belichick has the blueprint for beating Sam Darnold, and it starts with disguising coverages.
His players just seem to do the rest.
New England’s defense intercepted Darnold on three consecutive possessions in the second half — including one that J.C. Jackson returned 88 yards for a touchdown — and the New England Patriots cruised past the Carolina Panthers 24-6 on Sunday for their fourth win in the past five games. . . .
Mac Jones overcame two early turnovers and threw for 139 yards and a touchdown, rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson had 106 yards from scrimmage before leaving the game with a head injury and Damien Harris and Hunter Henry scored touchdowns as the Patriots (5-4) improved to 4-0 on the road.
“Getting a win on the road is a hard thing to do and we’ve done a good job of that this year,” Jones said. “The defense was lights-out.”

Like I said about Alabama: Defense wins football games.



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