1st Down: Still something to play for
Last week the New England Patriots checked the first item off their 2019 list of goals by winning the division. They defeated the Buffalo Bills to win the AFC East for the 11th straight year.
Next, they would have liked to have both playoff games played at Gillette Stadium in January, because it is very tough to win in Foxboro when the playoffs arrive. They had an opportunity to secure said home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but a loss to the Ravens in November (and the Ravens never losing again) didn’t help things for them.
They will have to settle for a first-round bye and hope someone else goes into Baltimore and knocks off Lamar Jackson and company. However, they still have an opportunity to get some rest next week during Wild Card Weekend and at least one guaranteed game at Gillette Stadium in a few weeks’ time… but they need some help.
It’s pretty simple actually: beat Miami and then get some needed down-time. However, those plans can get messed up if they lose and Kansas City wins, because they will then have the same record and the Chiefs hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
There it is folks, clear as crystal. If you needed a reason to watch the Patriots take on the poor Dolphins, there’s the reason right there above. If the New England Patriots are going to be serious contenders, they need that bye week to reset themselves, get some rest, and work some of the kinks that they still have in their offense out.