Let’s not kid ourselves. The New England Patriots ARE Tom Brady. They will lose at least 3 of the 4 games without him, and more than likely all four.
The bad news is that none of those four games are against Miami. Why couldn’t we play N.E. in weeks 1, 2, 3, or 4?
In Week One, the Patriots will lose to Pittsburgh. That means Pittsburgh will be 1-0 and already 1-0 in an AFC game. At the end of the year, that AFC record is hugely important.
Next up is Buffalo. This hurts even more than the Pittsburgh game. Buffalo will get a free win over New England sans Brady, a free AFC win, AND a free AFC-East win. All three of those factors hurt Miami.
After that is Jacksonville. If New England will win any of its non-Brady games, here’s where they do it. The Jaguars are a j.v. team at best, and New England may squeak one through.
After a bye, the Pats then play the Cowboys. This is the only good news for Miami, since a Dallas win will not hurt the Dolphins.
So if New England begins the year 1-3 or 0-4, isn’t that good news for Miami? No, not really. You have to concede that the Patriots will win the division. They always do. Last year they began 2-2 and then never looked back. 1-3 is not much different than 2-2.
Our best bet is a wild card, and the above scenario hurts our chances at making the wild card when the league gives a free victory to Pitt, Buffalo, and Jax.
If NE begins the year 0-4, there are 12 games left for Brady to play. Let’s say he goes 9-3. That means NE ends the year at 9-7 and wins the division. Buffalo could be 9-7 and lose the tie breakers. Miami will be about 8-8. The Jets should be around 7-9. Pittsburgh will be 9-7 and make the playoffs.
Without those free victories vs. non-Brady New England, the Bills and Steelers are 8-8 teams, and Miami has a chance.
Let’s hope I’m wrong…
As far as the GOOD NEWS? Well, there might be some good news. Brady and the cocky Patriots are egotistical enough where they might fight this. Brady might appeal via the players’ union, and it could go into court.
While all that is being sorted out, Brady could be allowed to play. He’ll eventually lose the appeal, in which case the 4-game suspension would come later in the season, rather than the first 4 games. Hopefully, his later suspension could come during one of the Dolphin games.
He can’t win the appeal. He looks 1,000 times more guilty today than yesterday, with the revelation that he destroyed his cell phone so that Roger Goodell wouldn’t find all those incriminating text messages.
Who does that!?