Despite an inconsistent start to the season, the Patriots at 5-4 see themselves in the playoffs.
The Patriots currently hold the seventh seed in the AFC playoffs, and despite the rocky season Bill Belichick has his team in the playoffs. However there are still eight games left to play for New England, and lots of them are against Super Bowl caliber teams. What are the Patriots’ playoff chances heading forward?
Odds The Patriots Can Make The Wild Card
Before you can look at matchups, New England needs to make sure they are in the playoffs. With eight games left, New England still plays teams like the Bills twice, the Dolphins, and the Vikings. The ideal record for New England would be 11-6. The number one priority for New England is to fix their offense. New England’s defense has been a top ten unit, however their offense has been below average as a passing offense.
New England needs to start off strong with a win against the Jets. The Jets are currently 6-3, and if the Patriots are able to win they can tie their records, and take an advantage over the Jets since they beat them twice. The Jets have been playing a very inspiring brand of football, as they are fresh of beating the Bills as underdogs. The key to this game is generating a pass rush. Zach Wilson has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league when he is pressured.
Bill Belichick’s defense is the key to this game, as the offense needs to start trying to figure it out. Similar to the last game between these two teams. The Patriots’ defense forced Zach Wilson to throw three interceptions.
The Vikings game would be a nice game to have, but since they are an NFC team it wouldn’t be the end of the world if New England dropped that game. The cornerbacks stepping up is the key to that game. Same with the Cardinals, a game that would be nice to have. The Cardinals have been underwhelming, but they still have lots of talent. Limiting the duo of Rondale Moore and Deandre Hopkins is the key.
However, it is extremely important that New England can split with the Bills. The Bills have been very shaky to start the year as well, and the AFC East is wide open. Getting at least one win against the Bills would be huge going forward. Getting the passing offense playing at a high level is the key to beating the Bills.
The Raiders have been playing very bad so far, and New England should be able to beat them. Establishing a good run against the Raiders would be the key. If the Patriots are able to get a lead that will force the Raiders to run the ball less with their star running back Josh Jacobs and depend on a passing game that has struggled.
The Bengals are another extremely tough team, and the key to beating them is to establish a good passing game. New England won’t make it far with their passing offense being as bad as they have been so far. Getting Mac Jones comfortable is their number one priority, and a key to this game.
While the Dolphins may not be the best team the Patriots will play on their schedule, they are still a concerning team to play considering how New England plays against Miami late in the season
The Dolphins’ offense has been terrific, Tua has had a terrific year throwing for 18 touchdowns with only three interceptions. This is the second to last game the Patriots will play, and it will likely have major implications. The key to this game is establishing a good rushing attack. Keeping Tua, and the Dolphin’s dynamic wide receivers in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle would give New England a massive advantage.
11-6 is the ideal scenario for New England. They have a tough schedule, but stealing a game against Miami, and splitting with the Bills would be great for their seeding. Before all of that, they need to get a very important win against the Jets.
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