Still No Clarity…
…on who exactly the New England Patriots are this season. We’ve been through this a ton. Their next game is in December. We usually know by this month on the calendar.
We are clear on the AFC East stinking…yet again. 3 game lead for the Pats with 5 to go. So that means another division crown. Go figure.
The conference? Not sure. KC is obviously off to a fantastic start. But it remains to be seen if they can stop anyone. The Steelers coughed one up last week and should have lost the week before. The Chargers or Texans? Can we really expect these teams to do anything in the playoffs? Doubt it. The rest of the teams? Don’t see it.
As for the Pats themselves? Offensively a step behind what they usually do. Maybe three steps. 27 points against the f’n Jets? Tom Brady looks old and injured (sorry). Rob Gronkowski? Yup…”old” and injured. Sony Michel? We will see. People think Rex Burkhead’s return this week will help. But he’s always…injured. Chris Hogan is no superstar. But he can play. And Brady refuses to even look at him anymore. And so on…
The defense? Sure, 13 points allowed in a game is nice. But…the Jets. Dont’a Hightower and Devin McCourty have been alternating between average and “washed-up” all year long in my eyes. “Average” may be too kind a word for the personnel on D this year. Think of it this way: When Kyle Van Noy is one of your better players, that speaks volumes…I don’t care how well he actually seems to be playing.
Special teams? You know, made up of a ton of guys that Bill Belichick likes to keep and can’t do anything else on the field? Atrocious all around this season. Well, I guess Stephen Gostkowski has been pretty good and every once in a while Bill raves postgame about the punter, Ryan Allen (like last week). But the return and coverage units. Bad.
By now, any issues are supposed to have been fixed. Not this year. Can they still be? Not sure. But now it’s a real fight to the end. Starting Sunday against another team that likely should be better than they have been…the Minnesota Vikings. More on them next column.
The rest of the schedule isn’t daunting. But playing at Miami hasn’t always been great. Even if the game is in December and not September. The Pats have a good track record against the Steelers, even in Pittsburgh. This year? No idea. Should be cakewalks against the Bills and Jets at home the last two weeks. But can we even count on this now?
I guess we will find out in due time. For now, the Thursday game:
New Orleans (-7.5) at Dallas
The NFC West has 2 doormat 2-9 teams, but the NFC East isn’t much better as a whole. The Saints have crushed the other 3 NFC East teams they have played this season to the tune of 124-44. Dallas may be home. But New Orleans is actually 5-0 on the road. Both of these teams played on Thanksgiving, so no advantage there. I’m just filling space now. There is no debate on this one.
New Orleans 41, Dallas 20.
Week (against the spread): 11-4
Week (straight up): 11-4
Season (against the spread): 96-80
Season (straight up): 111-65
Posted on November 28, 2018, in Uncategorized and tagged AFC East, Bill Belichick, Dallas Cowboys, gambling, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, NFC East, NFL picks, point spreads, Rob Gronkowski, Thursday Night Football. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.