Patriots in full control of AFC

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reminded everybody Monday night time why he’s the most effective game-planner of all time when he allowed offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to name 32 consecutive runs as a option to fight 40-mile-per-hour wind gusts and snow in a 14-10 win in opposition to the Buffalo Bills. It was like he took the best ball-control plan of all time – when the Giants upset the Bills in Super Bowl XXV – and stated, “Add more runs!”

So, now the Patriots are in agency control of the AFC East and maintain the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff image. But how do they match up in opposition to different contenders in The Post’s energy rankings for Week 14? Still a couple of hills to climb.

1. Arizona Cardinals, 10-2 (1)

Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins each returned from three-game absences and related for a landing on the opening possession in a win in opposition to the Bears. The protection chipped in 4 interceptions of Andy Dalton. The Cardinals are 7-0 on the highway – with every win by a double-digit margin.

2. Kansas City Chiefs, 8-4 (2)

Five straight opponents have scored 17 or fewer factors because the protection rounds into kind. Safety Daniel Sorensen led the best way to a 12th straight win in opposition to the Broncos with a pick-six and a sort out to stifle a two-point conversion try. Coach Andy Reid’s groups (Chiefs and Eagles) improved to 20-3 all-time off a bye week.

3. New England Patriots, 9-4 (4) 

Belichick joined George Halas because the second coach ever with 19 highway wins in opposition to a single opponent by successful in Buffalo. The Patriots ran 46 occasions for 222 yards and threw thrice for 19 yards. That’s the fewest passes tried by any staff in a recreation since 1974. Their 7-1 document in opposition to the AFC will probably be important for tiebreakers.

Bill Belichick on the sidelines in the course of the Patriots’ 14-10 win over the Bills.

4. Green Bay Packers, 9-3 (3)           

Off a bye, the Packers can turn into the primary staff to clinch their division this week with a win and a Vikings loss. A brand new wrinkle to the Packers this year is their third-and-short offense: They are a league-best 22-of-28 changing third-and-2 or much less, together with 14-of-15 on third-and-1. Call it The A.J. Dillon Effect.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 9-3 (10)

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski related on one other two landing passes, upping their career complete to 90 in the regular-season plus 14 in the playoffs. Only Peyton Manning-to-Marvin Harrison has resulted in extra touchdowns (112). Brady improved to 10-0 all-time in opposition to the Falcons, who he as soon as tortured with a 25-point Super Bowl comeback.

6. Los Angeles Rams, 8-4 (9)

Let’s not get overly enthusiastic about snapping a three-game shedding streak with a 37-7 blowout of the Jaguars. Odell Beckham Jr., Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson all caught landing passes and Sony Michel offered the Rams’ first 100-yard dashing efficiency of the season as injured starter Darrell Henderson rested (in uniform). 

7. Baltimore Ravens, 8-4 (6)

Ravens-Steelers nonetheless belongs close to the highest of any checklist of greatest NFL rivalries. John Harbaugh’s gusty resolution to go for the win with 12 seconds left didn’t work when Mark Andrews couldn’t make a one-handed catch on a two-point conversion try in a 20-19 loss. The issues right here embody seven sacks allowed and the probably season-ending damage to Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey.

Mark Andrews noticed a possible game-winning two-point conversion fall off his fingertips.
Getty Images

8. Tennessee Titans, 8-4 (8)

The injury-plagued Titans have used 86 gamers – probably the most by any staff since no less than 1993 – together with 49 totally different starters. Seventeen gamers are on injured reserve, together with stars A.J. Brown, Julio Jones, Bud Dupree and Derrick Henry, although some are due again after final week’s bye. Only one of the ultimate 5 opponents (Steelers) is above .500.

9. Buffalo Bills, 7-5 (7)

There’s no option to sugarcoat what has been a disappointing season to date for the Super Bowl hopefuls, who haven’t received consecutive video games since a 4-0 begin. The Bills have been in the pink zone twice in the ultimate eight minutes however even Josh Allen’s cannon arm was no match for the climate and the Patriots’ NFL-best protection.

10. Dallas Cowboys, 8-4 (11)

Dan Quinn coached the Cowboys to a defense-fueled four-interception victory in opposition to the Saints throughout Mike McCarthy’s absence as a consequence of a constructive COVID-19 check consequence. Micah Parsons, who upped his complete to 10 sacks, isn’t simply the runaway Defensive Rookie of the Year. He is throwing his hat in the ring for Defensive Player of the Year. 

Micah Parsons hits Taysom Hill in the course of the Cowboys’ 27-17 win over the Saints.
Getty Images

11. Los Angeles Chargers, 7-5 (17)

12. Indianapolis Colts, 7-6 (13)

13. Cincinnati Bengals, 7-5 (10)

14. Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-5-1 (18)

15. Washington Football Team, 6-6 (20)

16. San Francisco 49ers, 6-6 (12)

17. Las Vegas Raiders, 6-6 (14)

18. Denver Broncos, 6-6 (15)

19. Cleveland Browns, 6-6 (19)

20. Miami Dolphins, 6-7 (22)

21. Philadelphia Eagles, 6-7 (24)

22. Minnesota Vikings, 5-7 (16)

23. Atlanta Falcons, 5-7 (21)

24. Seattle Seahawks, 4-8 (27)

25. New York Giants, 4-8 (23)

It may very well be thought-about “cruel and unusual punishment” to be pressured to observe the Giants offense week after week. Enter third-string quarterback Jake Fromm, who’s in line to make his first career begin behind a worse offensive line than he had at Georgia, after simply 12 days studying the playbook. The protection has no margin for error.

26. New Orleans Saints, 5-7 (25)

27. Carolina Panthers, 5-7 (26)

28. Chicago Bears, 4-8 (28)

29. New York Jets, 3-9 (29)

Jets-Eagles was an unlikely option to turn into the primary recreation since no less than 1978 that featured each groups scoring touchdowns on their first three drives. Only downside is the Eagles stored scoring factors on their first seven drives, whereas the Jets went ice chilly totaling three performs for 3 yards in the third quarter. Time to offer retired soccer star Carli Lloyd a shot at kicker.

Gardner Minshew celebrates after beating the Jets.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

30. Houston Texans, 2-10 (30)

31. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-10 (31)

32. Detroit Lions, 1-10-1 (32)

Back to top button