Sunday, November 20, 2011

MNF Presents the Patriots With a Chance to Lock Up AFC East

300 is one of my favorite movies because of this scene.  The Greek Army that is massing to defend their country from the Persians looks at the 300 soldiers brought from Sparta and doubts whether they can be of help because their numbers are low.  King Leonidas of Sparta points out that although he may have less men, he has more soldiers.

This scene can be applied to the Patriots.  They might not have enough of Bill Belichick's "soldiers" to win the AFC or the Super Bowl - remember, King Leonidas and his men ultimately lost to the Persians - but they have enough to win the AFC East championship for the ninth time since 2001.

The Jets and Bills have both fallen to 5-5 with losses to the Broncos and Dolphins this week.  That means with a win tomorrow night against the Chiefs, the Patriots can take a commanding two-game lead in the division with six weeks left to play.  A win tomorrow almost guarantees the Patriots of the division title and the playoff spot that comes with that crown.  In a wide open AFC, that secured spot could be enough of a window for Belichick and Tom Brady to win a fifth AFC Championship together and, possibly, a fourth Super Bowl.

Questions remain about the Patriots defense, especially in the secondary and the lack of a consistent deep threat in the passing game (come on, bring back Randy Moss for the two-and-a-half months it will take to win the Super Bowl) makes their offense fairly predictable.  However, with Belichick and Brady on the front lines and with no other dominant team in the conference, the Pats could be in the mix come January. 

Getting to that point starts tomorrow night.

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