Continuing on with our look at the Patriots 2012 schedule and predictions, here is my take on Games 13-16 of the season…
Week 14: vs. Houston Texans
The last December football game that the Patriots lost was to the Texans. At that point, the Patriots had locked up the division, had nothing to play for, and managed to lose Wes Welker to his torn ACL. It was just an all around bad day that lingered all the way to New England's trounching by Baltimore a week later. IF the Texans can stay healthy, I expect this game to be a clash of the Titans between the two best records in the AFC. The #1 seed could very well be on the line, and I don't see the Patriots choking that opportunity away.
Week 15: vs. San Francisco
This would be an easy one to peg for a loss if it were in San Francisco. Let's face it, the Patriots got dealt a very favorable hand this year by the schedule makers with Week 3's trip to Baltimore being the only time they will face an elite team on the road. The Patriots are so good in December, and so good at home. I have a feeling that people may be hyping up San Fran a bit too much this year. I feel like such a homer right now…
Week 16: @ Jacksonville Jaguars
If all goes as planned, this is the point in the season where the Patriots might just be sitting with very little to play for. Belichick isn't one to take his foot off the gas this early though. Talent prevails…
Week 17: vs. Miami Dolphins
With the exception of the undefeated 2007 season, the Patriots have not swept the AFC East in Bill Belichick's tenure. I'm calling for a pulling of the troops and Ryan Mallet's first career start as the Patriots prepare to host a divisional playoff game for the third straight season. Advantage, Fish.