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The NFL AFC East

Bill Stewart The Old Sachem-2
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~ The Old Sachem ~

  Three weeks ago, I predicted the Patriots as finishing with an 8 wins and 9 losses record, but the Jets changed all that this week. The Pats won 10-3 to keep their hopes alive for a playoff spot. I’m now betting on 9 and 8. On Thursday they play one of the toughest teams in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings, in Minneapolis, and I can’t see the Pats winning.

  Mac Jones hasn’t led to a touchdown in the last two games. He does not appear to look around for open receivers, instead tossing to the first choice, covered or not. He also does not toss the ball away when he knows he is in trouble as most of the quarterbacks do. He has been sacked about five times each over the last two games. Of course, the offensive line contributes to his problem, but someone has got to teach the offense how to play the game. Is there a problem with the offensive coaches who don’t know how to run an offense?

  Anyway, I figure the Pats to lose at Minnesota (8-2) only four days after the Jets game. Next Buffalo (7-3) comes to Foxboro and only a miracle could see the Pats winning. That would be two straight losses. The Patriots should win their next two games: December 12 at Arizona (4-6), and at Las Vegas (3-7). Then they come home to host Cincinnati (6-4) on December 24, which could go either way.

  Their final regular season games are Miami (7-3) at Foxboro and at Buffalo, also 7 and 3, and to win either game is nearly impossible, unless either opponent loses their quarterback before or during the contests.

  Ranking the AFC East Division, it appears that either Miami or Buffalo should be the champion, with my favorite Buffalo. I expect Buffalo to win their last seven: at Detroit (4-6), at the Patriots (6-4), Jets (6-4), Miami (7-3), at Chicago (3-8), at Cincinnati (6-4), and finish with the Patriots in Buffalo. This would give them a 14 and 3 record.

  My take on Miami is three wins at home: Houston (1-8 -1), at San Francisco (5-4), at LA Chargers (5-4). Then they travel to Buffalo (7-3), which should be a loss. They should win their final three games: at home against Green Bay (4-7), Patriots (6-4) and the Jets, also 6 and 4.

  I count the Jets out; they battle Minnesota (8-2), Buffalo (7-3), Detroit (4-6), Jacksonville (3-7), Seattle (6-4) and finish with Miami (7-3). I don’t have last week’s scores for San Francisco and Arizona who play Monday evening (after I submit the article).

  Through nine weeks Buffalo has a 27.3 point scoring average and allows 16.8 points average for opponents. Miami appears to have a weak average, scoring 25.2 points and allowing 24.1. The Pats are 22.6 and 18.4, and the Jets 21.8 and 19.6.

  My latest predictions for the season are Buffalo 14 and 3, Miami 13 and 4, Patriots 9 and 8 and the Jets 9 and 8.

  We’ll see if the Old Sachem is still capable of peering into the future of the NFL. I expect next week to do some comments on the FIFA World Cup of soccer, which is being played this year in Qatar.

(Editor’s Note: Bill Stewart, better known to Saugus Advocate readers as “The Old Sachem,” is back after a hiatus from writing his weekly column about sports.

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