Another day, another dollar. Another week, another opponent left laying broken on the battlefield.
This week it was the baffled Buffalo Bills who couldn’t figure out a way to stop Brady, Gronk, and Lewis. Brady led the charge with 258 yards through the air, connecting with Rob Gronkowski for 147. Balancing out the unstoppable attack was Dion Lewis who marched on the Bills for just under 100 yards rushing.
The hero of the day award for the Pats eighth-straight win goes to Rex Burkhead who added 78 rushing yards to the mix and two touchdowns — honorable mention goes to the team on the other side of the ball who held the Buffalo Bills to just a field goal!
The main question on my mind is whether or not Belichick will take his foot off the gas in the coming weeks. The Patriots are a lock at 10-2 for a playoff berth and are looking like the #1 seed. It all depends on how it shakes out with the Pittsburgh Steelers over the next couple of weeks.
Coming up the Patriots have the Dolphins, The Steelers, the Buffalo Bills, then the NY Jets. If we are a mathematical lock for the #1 seed, in the next two weeks, will Mr. Belichick start resting the guys or will he want to bash heads and finish strong at the regular season finish line?
Knowing that we are not out of the proverbial woods just yet, the foot isn’t coming off the pedal next week when the Miami Dolphins visit Foxboro. I am confident that the Pats will come in as 10-point to two-touchdown favorites, but at the time of writing this, (Sunday evening) odds are not yet out for next week’s Monday Night Football matchup with the Fins. That said, we should check the top betting sites to see where the lines fall, as it’s always a good indicator of the potential outcome.
Assuming that Cutler and company are going to be road-dogs, recent trends do not bode well for Miami. Since 2016, the Dolphins or only win 38% of games where they are underdogs away from home. Conversely, the Pats are 11-4 (73.3%) as home favorites. And even worse news for the Fins, the Patriots are 24-7 (77.4%) against the spread in that same stretch.
Division play for the Miami Dolphins has been middling at best. Sitting at 5-4 since 2016, they are only winning 55% of their matchups against division rivals. The Pats, on the other hand, are 8-1. This puts them at an 88.9% against division opponents.
Prior to this Sunday’s win, the Pats were atop the predictive power rating boards at #1 (and I doubt that will change) and also lead the league in probability to win the Super Bowl at 27.7%.
So, who rounds out the top-5? The Philadelphia Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New Orleans Saints, and the Minnesota Vikings, respectively. Where are the Dolphins on this list, you might ask? Nowhere in sight … Ok. They are somewhere … Way back at 28th, with a measly .8% chance of making the playoffs and a 0.0% chance of taking home those coveted rings.
Lest I knock on wood, I should say: The Patriots have been surprised (we all were) a couple of times this season. So, they can’t go to sleep on the Miami Dolphins. Now that I have acknowledged the ‘ego gods’ and gotten that out of the way, I can go back to saying that I predict much more of the same next week. A ninth-straight win in pummeling, double-digit fashion and one step closer to a #1 seed playoff berth.A
View the original article on Patriots Extra: The Patriots Playoff Piggy Bank is Almost Full