NFL Takes, TooAthletic Takes

People are already placing bets on if the AFC East will see an undefeated or a winless team this season; but while the New England Patriots are still the favorites to win the Super Bowl, it is the Miami Dolphins futility that most odds makes think will shine during the regular season.

While the upcoming schedule is easy, with New England taking on Washington followed by both New York teams, Week Eight is when the “16-0 Watch” truly begins for the Patriots.  For it is in Week Eight that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick see their schedule get tough.  With games against Cleveland and at Baltimore before the bye, and games at Philadelphia, against Dallas, at Houston and against Kansas City, making it to December 8 undefeated might be the point when the Patriots quarterback might celebrate with some avocado ice cream, or whatever TB 12 does when he’s happy.

For the Miami Dolphins, who play many of the same teams that New England does because they are in the same division, having their bye week will help them prepare for Washington over the Columbus Day weekend.  The Fins will then swim north for a two-game road trip to Buffalo and Pittsburgh before hosting the New York Jets to being November.

Trips to Indianapolis and Cleveland are wrapped around a home game against Buffalo to complete the November schedule, with December seeing Miami host Philadelphia and Cincinnati, with road trips to New York and New England to round out the 2019 schedule.  It is this schedule that has odd makers giving the Miami Dolphins a better chance to go 0-16 when compared to the New England Patriots going 16-0.

New England’s offense has not surprisingly struggled this season without the (currently) retired Rob Gronkowski at tight end, with the defense helping carrying the team last week in a 16-10 victory over Buffalo.  By having a stronger than normally defense, Bill Belichick might not ask his offense to do as much during the season other than try and control time of possession, and allow Tom Brady to pick his spots to win the game.  The result might be a more well-rounded team come January, and a team that has a better chance to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

With everyone including the ball boys looking to be traded away from the Miami Dolphins, who starts at quarterback this year will be the least of the team’s issue in the short-term, with players in fighting and the coach losing the locker room potentially being a much bigger problem.  If it wasn’t for Washington and Miami playing next weekend, both teams could be on the betting board as potential 0-16 teams this year; thankfully, at least one of them should win.

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