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Entering Week 15 with a 7-6 record and in possession of the final wild card spot in the AFC playoff picture, the New England Patriots are on the inside track to return to the postseason for a second time in three post-Tom Brady seasons. Of course, doing that will not be easy given their schedule down the stretch.
The Patriots will be facing one of the toughest slates in the entire league, let lone their conference. The following graphic shared by René Bugner illustrates this:
On paper, as can be seen, the Patriots’ schedule appears to be more taunting than those of their wild card rivals. The Los Angeles Chargers in particular, who also sit at 7-6 but have a disadvantage because of their worse conference record, face an easier path to the tournament: whereas New England plays three teams with a winning record, L.A. plays only one.
Of course, none of this would matter if the Patriots would win out: if they go 4-0 over their final four games, they would all but be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs no matter what happens around them.
The question is whether or not they will be able to do that. And when looking at the Patriots’ performance so far this season, and the games left on the schedule, one can have doubts about that:
- Week 15: at Las Vegas Raiders (5-8)
- Week 16: vs. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)
- Week 17: vs. Miami Dolphins (8-5)
- Week 18: at Buffalo Bills (10-3)
While the upcoming game against Las Vegas is a winnable one despite New England opening as 1-point underdogs, the other three will be tough. The Bengals are winners of five straight and one of the hottest teams in football; the Dolphins already beat the Patriots earlier this year; the Bills as well while also being among the best in the NFL right now.
So, with all that said, let’s tackle this week’s SB Nation Reacts question: What record will the Patriots have over their final four games of the season?
To answer this and other questions this week, please make sure to fill out the following form. Also, keep an eye out for the results to be published later this week.
Finally, as always, please share your thoughts on all the questions as well as your personal answers in the comment section down below. Happy debating!