December football is here and ready to take place around the holidays. As for fans, it’s typically a way to watch sports while at home with family. But for the NFL, December is when the marquee games take place. With the playoffs only a few weeks away, some teams are already out of the picture. But as the weather is colder the tension gets hotter. And as for the Patriots, they have Belichick and a good December football reputation.
December Football Typically Belongs To Patriots
New England is no longer in the situation where they’re cruising through the NFL. With Brady gone and a smaller budget to work with, they’re still fighting for their lives. With a record at 5-6 and 3rd in the AFC East, they’ll need to win these next games. But historically December is the month where they find their identity.
During the Belichick-Brady era that started in 2001, they’ve won over 50 games in that month. As of 2016, they were at 54-10 in December. The defense typically finds its niche and makes key stops. The offensive line gets it together and protects the quarterback. And the special teams thrive in ways other teams wouldn’t think of. Throw in that the other teams in the AFC East usually flop and you have yourself domination. And although this year has Buffalo and Miami at the top, we’ll see how they fare in tough weather.
Key Division Games Lie Ahead
The Patriots already have an early win over the Miami Dolphins who stand 2nd ahead in their division. They will face each other on the 20th of December. However, the Patriots do tend to have struggled against Miami later in the season. But if Belichick is able to get his team prepared, it’ll make for an interesting bout. And the Patriots have also gotten better as a team and are familiar with Miami. While only leading by 1 game, Miami can’t afford to slip up these next few weeks.
The more interesting matchup will be against the Bills on the 28th. This team has shown vast improvement but shown their flaws. They have inexperience that’s cost them a few games. And when the Patriots lost to them earlier in the season, it was by one possession. All division games are tough to win. And if Belichick is able to get a hold of their tendencies, it’ll make for a tough game.
If the Patriots want to make it to the playoffs they’ll need to win games and more. A number of other factors will have to happen. Nonetheless, they aren’t completely out of the picture. And with Belichick having a not so tough schedule ahead makes it an interesting factor. But December football is something that the Patriots have used to make a complete switch in their program. The time is now to see if they take that jump into playoff-caliber play. By the looks of things, it’s doable.