There are many who believe that last week's Patriots-Packers game was a preview for Super Bowl XLVIII. While the Broncos and Seahawks remain in the hunt as well, Benjamin Morris of FiveThirtyEight Sports explained why a Packers-Patriots Super Bowl is inevitable. Morris used "scoring curves" charts to show why Green Bay and New England are the teams to beat in 2014.
"The main takeaways here: 1) These are two very strong teams, and 2) They are eerily similar," said Morris when talking about the Packers and Patriots. "They both have powerful and balanced offenses (though New England has been a little better at converting in the red zone)."
The Patriots currently hold a two-game lead in the AFC East and are in position to clinch their twelfth division title with Tom Brady at the helm. SB Nation's Richard Hill outlines how New England can clinch the AFC East over the next few weeks.
"In all likelihood, the Bills will lose to either the Packers or the Broncos. The Patriots chances at a divisional crown will come down to the Week 15 rematch against the Dolphins," explained Hill. "Let's just hope the Patriots win their next two games and seal another division title."
However, winning the AFC East isn't the ultimate goal for the regular season. Most fans are hoping the team can secure the top spot in the conference and earn homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. As of right now, the Patriots are in possession of the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but there's no margin for error. Boston.com's Steve Silva explains that if the Patriots lose on Sunday, they could find themselves playing on wild card weekend instead of enjoying a bye. In the article, Silva also predicts which teams will make the playoffs and which ones lose out.
As the team continues to prepare for this Sunday's game in San Diego, Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston took a look at the Patriots and Chargers through a stats-based lens. Reiss highlighted a variety of different stats and records that could have an impact against San Diego.
"Tight end Rob Gronkowski has been held without a touchdown in back-to-back games. He has not gone three straight games without a touchdown since 2011 (4 games, weeks 4-8)," wrote Reiss. "The Chargers have allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends this season, tied for second fewest in the NFL."
Fansided's David Smith expects Gronk to get things going this week and predicts a 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers. In the article, Smith breaks down some of the important match-ups and explains what he expects from the team.
Mark Schlereth and Darren Sharper of ESPN's 'NFL Live' also made their predictions for this weekend's matchup against the Chargers. Both former players picked the Patriots to prevail in San Diego before coming back to the East Coast to finish out the season. For more Week 14 predictions, click over to ESPN.com, NFL.com, or CBS Sports.com. Of the 22 featured experts on those three sites, 14 of them picked New England to win.
*Major League Soccer*'s website says that Robert Kraft will be pulling double duty this Sunday with the Revolution and the Patriots. Luckily for Kraft, the two teams are playing in the same state making it fairly easy for him to attend both games. The Revolution will play the LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup final at 3pm ET, which is roughly 5.5 hours before the start of the Patriots Sunday Night game in San Diego.