Patriots: Matchup with Steelers or Bengals the most likely

The Patriots could very well renew their rivalry with the Steelers on wild card weekend.

It was all going to work out great for the Patriots.

 

They’d beat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night and be left with the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins to wrap up the year.

 

With the No. 2 seed, they’d get a week off as a reward, and then a home game in the AFC divisional round. With a win there, it would most likely be off to Houston. The Pats just crushed them – it would be a cakewalk… then on to the Super Bowl.

 

Except they didn’t beat San Francisco.

 

Instead, New England spotted the 49ers a 31-3 lead in the third quarter. An improbable comeback to tie things up at 31-31 lasted only a few seconds before the 49ers took the lead back for good.



So long, No. 2 seed. Hello, wild card weekend.

 

As it stands now, the Patriots are the No. 3 seed, and based on the Broncos’ – now the No. 2 seed – next two games (vs. Cleveland, vs. Kansas City), it would be quite the surprise to see the Pats back at No. 2 this season.

 

So, what’s it all mean? It means New England will have to take the long road to the Super Bowl – if they get there at all.

 

It looks as if the Pats will be hosting either the Bengals or the Steelers in early January if things play out as expected.  Both AFC North teams will face off this Sunday. If Cincy wins, it’s theirs. If Pittsburgh wins, it’s theirs to lose in Week 17.

 

If you’re a Patriots fan, you probably don’t want to see a healthier Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ top-of-the-line pass defense pulling into Gillette Stadium.

 

On the other hand, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green could run laps around the Pats secondary. And speaking of “Green,” don’t forget good friend BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

 

But say the Pats win – great. Then it’s on to Denver and the mile-high air to face a Broncos team looking for revenge from their loss to the Patriots back in Week 5 – which also happens to be the Broncos’ last loss.

 

Are the Pats banged up from the week before? Does an extra week of rest and preparation put the Broncos over the top?

 

These are questions we unfortunately could be asking in a few weeks.


Loser’s mentality?

The Patriots may actually want to lose one of their next two. A loss to Jacksonville or Miami would likely drop the Pats to the No. 4 seed, giving them a seemingly easier path with Indy and Houston in the first two rounds. The Pats beat the Colts and Texans handily this year.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.