Patriots Playoff Hopes – Can They Make It?

Patriots Playoff Hopes - Can They Make It?

The Patriots are fighting for a playoff spot in the AFC. Tommy Burch breaks down their chances and analyzes what they need to get to the Wild Card.

Patriots Playoff Hopes – Can They Make It?

The Patriots suffered a devastating loss to the Raiders last week in one of the most egregious game-losing plays in NFL history. Now, at 7-7, they are in dire need of wins to make a playoff push.

As of right now, their chances do not look very good. However, a Jets loss on Thursday may spark hope for a wild card game. The biggest question is whether they can make the playoffs with their remaining schedule, and how likely it is.

Get the Facts Straight

Before the game on Sunday, the Pats have a 27% chance of making the playoffs. This is not a very good number, and in order for them to make the playoffs, they should win out. According to simulations, if they win less than 2 games of their final 3, they will most likely not make the playoffs.

If they lose to the Bengals, their percentage drops to 15%. Winning out after that would bring them back up to 72%, but both of their next two opponents are divisional rivals.

If the Patriots lose to the Dolphins, they are almost 100% out of the playoff picture, regardless of what they do. Even if they beat the Bills and Bengals, a loss to the Dolphins puts them at a 21% shot of making it.

If they beat the Bengals, their chances skyrocket to 42%. However, a loss to Miami following brings them down to 6%. No matter the situation, the two AFC East games are vital to the team’s playoff run.

Best Path to Success

Clearly, the road to the playoffs is convoluted and treacherous. As of right now, things do not look great for the Pats. Their playoff chances are not great, and the next game on the Bills and Dolphins’ schedules look like cakewalks.

In order to comfortably make the playoffs, obviously, New England would like to win out. However, if they are to lose any game, it would preferably be against the Bengals. The Bills face off against the Bengals in week 17, and it is the most losable game for Buffalo. If they can lose to Cincy and the Dolphins can lose to either the Jets or the Packers, the situation would be much nicer.

From a playcalling standpoint, they need to find aggression on offense. Rhamondre Stevenson surprised us all with 2 of the top 10 rushing yard performances this year. His game against the Raiders showed us that New England can rely on the ground game as long as they mix in some mid-level passing concepts.

While on the topic of the passing game, it requires more risk. Mac Jones has proven he can get the ball down the field through the air. The conceited playcalling has led to unneeded end-game plays that put the team in bad positions, and every game is close.

New England does not need the Mac Jones that throws more picks than touchdowns, but the Mac Jones who hits his receivers in stride down the field. They can make the playoffs as long as they play their cards right.


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