| | New England Looking More Like Defending Champs
At the midpoint of the NFL season The New England Patriots were 4-4 and looked nothing like two-time defending Super Bowl Champions. How times have changed.
The Patriots are now 10-5, and have a chance to move up in the AFC standings and become the third-seeded team in the playoffs. "The best thing that we can do for ourselves is take care of Miami and then move on to whatever's after that," linebacker Roosevelt Colvin said.
New England (10-5), currently seeded fourth, can finish third with a win over Miami and a loss by Cincinnati (11-4) to Kansas City. If that happens and Pittsburgh beats or ties Detroit, then the Patriots and Steelers, seeded sixth, would play at Foxboro the following weekend. That is also the most likely scenario since it would take a monumental upset to see Pittsburgh lose at home against rotten Detroit.
The Patriots would finish fourth if they lose or the Bengals win, setting up a first-round match at Foxboro against Jacksonville. "We just want to take care of business," Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour said, "but we can't control what we can't control."
The Patriots' seeding also would determine their second-round opponent if they advance. If they are seeded fourth, they would meet top-seeded Indianapolis. If they're third, their opponent would be second-seeded Denver.
New England is playing superbly now, and has four lopsided victories in its last four games, including a 31-21 win over the New York Jets 31-21 on Monday night in a game that wasn't nearly that close. The Patriots allowed fewer than 200 yards for the fourth straight game.