Mac Jones

Pats have some control over their destiny

With one game remaining, the Patriots hold down the AFC’s seventh playoff spot. In that solemn bromide faithfully trotted out in such circumstances, the Pats control their own destiny.

Of course, no mere mortal really has such absolute power over where life might next take them.

It also must be noted that the NFL schedule maker has them visiting the league’s Ice Station Zebra.

Who actually wants to spend a January Sunday in greater Buffalo? If there is no snow, there may be sleet. If there is no sleet there may be freezing rain.

If the skies are clear, the wind might cut through eight layers of clothing. Toes may need upwards of a week to regain their wiggle.

The Patriots have no control over any of that.

Then there is the team that lives in the snow, sleet, freezing rain and gale-force winds. Its toes will freeze, too, but time has granted them great wind-chill toughness from big toe to pinky toe.

Most importantly, the Buffalo Bills are a better team.

From the Bills’ perspective, it really didn’t matter who won Sunday at Gillette Stadium. They have long-since clinched the AFC East championship. A win Monday night against the Bengals and a win over New England would give them home-field through the AFC championship game.

So, the Bills have something to play for next Sunday. Home field in the playoffs has some value, especially when it is a home-ice advantage.

Their competitors for the best record in the AFC have less control. Kansas City needs to win its finale Las Vegas and a Buffalo loss to Cincinatti or New England. The Bengals need a win over the Bills and a win over the Ravens and a Chiefs loss to Las Vegas.

As someone who occasionally forgets what day it is, that’s a load for this cluttered memory bank.

Neither the Patriots or Dolphins looked Super Bowl bound Sunday. Miami had to dip deep into its quarterback depth chart once starter Tua Tagovailioa was shuttered in concussion protocol. Teddy Bridgewater left in the third quarter with a finger injury. Skylar Thompson, who attempted 53 passes before Sunday, threw the pick-six to Kyle Dugger that put New England ahead for good.

As for Mac Jones and the Patriots offense … they looked OK. Whether they achieved a level of OK because they have hit a higher gear or Miami’s defense flopped about like a barely breathing fish is tough to figure.

But the Pats are 8-8 and still have a shot at the playoffs. In the big picture, that may not be cause for celebration, but it is worthy of respect.

They have some control over their own destiny.

You May Have Missed…

A few thoughts …

Red Sox still look like a .500 team Floating down a lonesome stream of consciousness, hoping that ABC’s presentation of the NBA Finals achieves the worst ratings in the history of TV ratings … Two ...

Welcome back, Kyrie

Celtics sweep their way into NBA Finals Sweeps are the pedestals on which great teams reside. Sending stunned foes home for the summer by dismissing them in four games is what separates awe-inspiring NBA teams ...

Fresh Content Direct to Your Inbox