Thursday, December 18, 2008

Patriots 49, Raiders 26 (12/14/2008)

Sorry this is so late and so... incomplete. But things got out of hand on Sunday, and by Monday afternoon I was flat on my back with a nasty (non-computer) virus. I'm still recovering, so there won't be any detailed breakdown of this game. The most important thing now is how can the Patriots make the playoffs. So I'm going to skip the usual stuff and go directly to...

So where does that leave us? To have any real shot at the post-season, the Patriots must win their last two games and finish at 11-5. So let's assume they do that, and consider the four other teams fighting with the Patriots for three playoff spots: Indy, Baltimore, Miami, and the NY Jets. Unfortunately, the Pats lose most tie-breakers to those teams, so they need to finish with a better record than three of them to get into the playoffs. Here are the possibilities, in the order from most likely to least likely (IMO).

Possibility #1: Baltimore could lose one of its last two games (most likely being at Dallas this Sunday). That would get the Patriots into the post-season with at least a wild card berth and possibly a division title, provided they finish at 11-5.

Possibility #2: Either the Jets or Dolphins lose this weekend and then win the last game of the year when they play each other. That would leave both the Jets and Dolphins at 10-6, and the Patriots would be division champs at 11-5.

Possibility #3: If the Jets *and* Dolphins lose this weekend, Patriots would win the division if they finished at 11-5.

Possibility #4: Finally, we get to the fourth team, Indianapolis. If the Colts lose their last two games, the Pats would be in the tournament at 11-5, either as a wild card or division champ.

Weekly Water-cooler Wisdom: "Want proof that you get what you pay for? Check out this 'Patriots Update.' Talk about lame."

Keep the faith,

- Scott

PS. 9-5!

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