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Step One: Win The Division

Miami. The city where I learned that long island iced teas and cigars - and food - might not be the perfect mixture.

Miami. The setting of the classic cinematic tale, "Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach."

Miami. The team that beat the New England Patriots in Week 1.

And now, 13 games - and 14 weeks - later, the Dolphins and the Patriots meet again. One team struggling and hoping to grasp a playoff spot.

The other one win away from securing one.

These final three games for the Patriots are all division games. All winnable games. And two of them right at home in Foxboro.

If the Patriots win today, they will secure the AFC East division title for an under-appreciated 12 times in 14 years.  This secures them not only a playoff spot but a playoff home game.

The question is - will this home game be in week one of the playoffs or week two? That is why it is so important to today. Winning today ensures that New England are still atop the AFC conference. With the Broncos having the same record, the Patriots take the top spot through the tie-breaker (because the Pats beat up the Broncos when they played).

However - if the Broncos lose even one game, that gives the Patriots an extra game buffer. So, if New England wins today - and the Chargers can manage to beat the Broncos today - the Patriots now have a 2 game lead in the conference.

This means they can go kick ass in New Jersey (yup I said New Jersey) next week - and then take their foot off the petal a bit in the final game against Buffalo.

But that ONLY is possible in the Broncos lose one of the next two games (New England can't relax in the final game of the season hoping the Broncos lose their final game. They have to lose this or next week.)

But the Patriots can't afford to pay attention the Denver right now. They have work to do on their own. They have a division to win, and they can go win that today by beating Miami.

Can you believe that Miami has beaten the Patriots 2-games in a row? They actually have a winning streak against New England! It helps that both of those games were in Miami, but wins are wins in this league.

And today I predict the Patriots to not one win, but win big.

Final score: 35-14.

Break out the hats. Break out the t-shirts.

(I'm not buying either, I'm holding out in hopes for a different hat)




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