New England Patriots Must Go for Number One Seed


Home field advantage is key, the New England Patriots must get that number one seed in the AFC.

With injuries still a big problem for the New England Patriots, there’s been an argument as to whether Belichick should rest his starters and just be happy with the first-round bye instead of snagging the #1 overall seed in the AFC. Resting Rob Gronkowski, Dont’a Hightower, and Danny Amendola is crucial in order for this team to really do some damage in the playoffs.

Do the Patriots have enough to beat the Jets and the Dolphins without those three key contributors? In a word, yes. However, that does not mean they should necessarily take that chance. This number one seed is important.

I’m all for resting Gronk and the boys, but New England shouldn’t take their eyes off of what is the ultimate prize in the AFC, the #1 seed and the ability to stay parked in Foxborough for their playoff run. Last season, the Patriots had that #1 seed and were able to take down opponents in the comfort of Gillette Stadium.

More from New England Patriots

Playoff games are always tough. Having any extra advantage in the post season is key. While it may be considered minimal at times, playing on your home field is always an advantage. One worth playing hard for.

What will it take to secure wins against the New York Jets, who’s playoff hopes are still very much alive, and the Miami Dolphins, who are simply looking forward to next season at this point? Newly signed Steven Jackson has the opportunity to crack into the role of reliable running back over the next two games. If he still has some left in the tank. the Patriots just became more dangerous.

James White has become primarily a receiver, (a la Shane Vereen), and it would make Jackson a whole lot more comfortable to be able to go through a playoff run in New England rather than dealing with hostile environments while trying to get his career back on track.

More from Chowder and Champions

The Broncos and Bengals do not have a forgiving schedule coming down to weeks 16 and 17, as Denver and Cincinnati play each other Monday night. This game is a huge one for playoff standing, and will be played by two backup quarterbacks, Brock Osweiler and AJ Mccarron.

After this, Denver has the San Diego Chargers at home, while the Bengals will host the Baltimore Ravens to close the season. As far as the final two games go, Denver and Cincinnati can both lose those games, but it’s also possible New England falls to Miami or New York.

New England has had some important postseason moments in their own home stadium, including the infamous “tuck rule” against the Oakland Raiders in the 2002 AFC Championship game. Julian Edelman, who is expected to play in Week 17 in Miami against the Dolphins, would benefit from having a home crowd behind him as he works his way back from a broken foot which he suffered against the Buffalo Bills in Week 11.

Next: Patriots Must Get James White More Involved

Resting players is important, but it is not the only thing. Whatever happens these last two weeks, if the New England Patriots secure the #1 overall seed, a much smoother playoff run awaits them.