It’s that time of year again… The Patriots are 11-3 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC after having clinched the AFC East last week. The question most of you are wondering is as follows: Can the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl? It looks like the Patriots should have earned themselves a first round bye and potentially home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The latter part I see to be very important.
Going to Heinz field and facing a Steelers team that isn’t depleted by injuries is not an easy task and that was proven earlier this season. That doesn’t look to be the case though. If the Patriots do meet the Steelers in the playoffs they will have to come through Foxboro and it’s a whole different atmosphere for them. Roethlisberger looks very hurt and an injury like that can keep most players out for a few weeks. The Ravens could be a tough game, but Joe Flacco looks average at best, and even the Ravens defense can get beat by a good offense as that was shown Sunday night. The Texans don’t have the passing game to really take advantage of the terrible Patriots secondary like most teams can. As far as the rest of the AFC goes there isn’t any other team in the conference that would really scare me; especially if they are coming to Gillette.
The Patriots secondary is clearly their weakness and at times has been exposed but it works into the Patriots favor that the list of potential quarterbacks they could face in the AFC playoffs are headlined by Big Ben and followed with QB’s like T.J. Yates, Joe Flacco, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and Matt Hasselbeck.
Anything can happen in the NFL, but if I had to put my life savings down on a team to come out of the AFC, it would be the Pats.