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The Home Stretch: AFC East Playoff Picture

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9-5, 9-5, and 9-5.  Those are the records for the tied-for-the-division-title Jets, Dolphins, and our very own Patriots.  With 2 games left in the regular season, we're down to the wire on one of the craziest seasons I can remember.  Mortgaging their future, New York jettisoned Chad Pennington in favor of King Cheese Head himself, Brett Favre.  "The Chad" found open arms in Miami and has been instrumental in a massive turnaround; a 1-15 embarrassment turning into a division champion contender.  And then we have our New England Patriots.  A clipboard carrying backup turned legit starter has led a banged up band of champions to a hair's breadth of taking the East, thank you very much.

First, a small rant.  Have we answered the question yet?  You know, whether or not Bill Belichick hit the QB lottery and was able to ride Tom Terrific's coat tails through 3 Super Bowls?  How many coaches could pull together a team suffering so many injuries and setbacks and make them a contender for a divisional championship?  Huh?  How many?  I have 3 fingers up: Bill Belichick has one of them, another active coach has the other, and the last is taken by a former head coach turned front office giant.  Ok, rant over.

Miami - Nearly bested by one of the worst teams in football, the San Francisco 49ers, is Miami losing some steam?  Is this team a one trick pony (the wildcat is now the sort of crazy kitten) or do they have the goods to carry them through the next 2 games?  Next up, the Kansas City Chiefs.  At the bottom of the AFC West barrel at 2-12, they have nothing to lose by giving the Dolphins a run for their money.  Maybe they'll feel sorry for knocking the NFL's 2007 MVP out for the season and destroy our neighbors from Florida.  Wouldn't THAT be nice?

New York - Schedule-wise, December is a tough month on the Jets.  At SF, home against the Bills, at Seattle and home against Miami.  Back and forth twice has gotta be tough.  At least, I'm hoping it is.  Like Miami, are they losing steam in December?  If not for a boneheaded Bills' call to pass instead of use the incredibly successful running game they had going, New York would've been knocked to second place in the AFC East.  Jauron should be fired.

New England - With Arizona and Buffalo up ahead, we stand a decent chance of winning out.  Losing a game does not knock us out for good, but it will make our odds of a division championship that much more difficult.

If you pray to the football gods, pray for both Miami and New York to lose this weekend.  If we win out, the championship is ours as either Miami or New York will be 9-7 (they play each other in week 17).  If one wins and one loses, pray for the winner of this week's matchup to lose against the other (New York and Miami will be 10-6).  If they BOTH win this week, one has to lose in their week 17 matchup.  That would not be good; we don't have the conference record to tolerate that.  The craziest scenario is if both win this week and TIE in their matchup.

Wouldn't that be sweet...