1. Don’t kid yourself. The path to Super Bowl LII runs through Foxborough.
Oakland may have had an extra week to get ready for this game, but the New England Patriots are just buzz sawing opponents right now. Yes, the Raiders are getting them at a neutral site in elevation, but the Patriots just destroyed the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football. All of America watched that beatdown.
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While the Pittsburgh Steelers are technically the No. 1 seed in the AFC if the season ended today, the team going to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis will have to win in Foxborough. Who in the AFC can do that? Maybe the Chiefs, but do you really think they are taking two at Gillette Stadium this year?
Though the NFC playoff picture is as murky as ever, the top of the AFC has never been more clear. At the end of the day, it will be New England hosting the winner of Kansas City and Pittsburgh. Yes, there are teams that could knock either Kansas City or Pittsburgh down in the divisional rounds. Maybe a playoff-bound Raiders team would be one of them?
Usually New England starts to play its best ball post-Thanksgiving. Well, Thanksgiving came early this year in the form of Marty Bennett, terrible Denver special teams play and the worst quarterback situation this side of Cleveland. To be the best, you have to beat the best. Here’s to the Raiders handing the Patriots their third loss of the season down in Mexico City!