Overcast and Cloudy!
By Matt DeLucia
It’s game day around the league, with the playoff races starting to form and heat up. Playoff aspirations are building for some, and fading for others. I just received the official weather report from deep inside Foxboro. And as of a few minutes ago, it’s overcast and cloudy with a few snow flurries. That works for fans of the New England Patriots as we prepare to face off with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots are in a must win situation today. As we need to keep pace with the Colts and the Ravens in the wild card hunt.
A few things that should happen today concerning the Patriots. Most likely the New York Jets will win today over the Denver Broncos. Unless Brett Favre has a complete melt down, they should roll easily. So a Patriots win would keep them on pace one game in back of the Jets. As well as ahead of the Miami Dolphins by a game. That’s depends on the out come of the Dolphins and the St. Louis Rams contest. Yes the Rams knocked off “America’s Team” earlier in the season. But I’m not seeing another win on the Rams horizon this afternoon. As for the Buffalo Bills who prepare for a meeting with the San Francisco 49ers at home. The 49ers are a tricky team, as we just never know who’s going to show up. The explosiveness on offense with Frank Gore pounding the ball and eating up the clock. Or the turn over prone offense that can’t seem to get out of their own way. With the weather being cold and wet I have to say it’s going to favor the bills this afternoon.
So wins most likely by the Bills, Dolphins and the Jets. Means that New England needs a victory to keep pace not only in the division, but also for a wild card spot. With the Steelers in town it’s not going to be a cake walk by any means. With or without the services of running back Willie Parker, they still have plenty of weapons at their disposal. You have Ben Roethlisberger and his gun of an arm, looking for Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes vs a weak Patriots secondary. It does play well for us with the weather conditions that should become a factor as the game progresses, since Roethlisberger has struggled in the cold, wintry elements throughout his career.
Based upon how quarterback Matt Cassel handles the tough defense of the Steelers, we might be seeing more of Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris in the offense. The Patriots need to be able to play their style of football in order to win today. That means involving Randy Moss and Wes Welker early and often. Open up the running game by being able to pass the ball will be a major key for the Patriots. The bottom line is we need a win no matter what the rest of the AFC East does today. A win and we help control our destiny, let’s not place our destiny in the hands of the rest of the league. Because we all know how dangerous the Patriots can and will be if given the chance in the playoffs.