It wasn’t exactly pretty, but the New England Patriots got the job done against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Now, they only have to take down the Buffalo Bills in Week 18 to see the NFL playoffs.
The Pats-Fins game will forever go down as a controversial contest, and one that gives more ammo to supporters of robot refs that would seemingly not show bias or make mistakes.
Miami had a few opportunities to secure the win, but bad offensive decisions late in the game and miscues on defense hurt. New England now moved up a spot in the standings, their eyes firmly set on a postseason appearance.
Fins Falter Up North
The Dolphins have had a lot of trouble staying healthy, and losing star QB Tua Tagovailoa before this crucial game cost the team. Teddy Bridgewater came in and did a good job, but an injury and a pick-six ended his comeback performance.
Still, he made it difficult for the Pats to grab an easy win. A TD pass to wide receiver Raheem Mostert for the go-ahead points was one of his highlights. However, it was a flicker of brightness that the Pats later extinguished.
Bridgewater would leave the game after reportedly breaking his finger, making way for Skylar Thompson. Thompson wasn’t able to turn things around, unable to move the ball effectively from his first snap.
That allowed the Pats to regain the lead, and QB Mac Jones took full advantage of it. While his numbers weren’t overwhelming, he bounced back from recent criticism, putting up two scores and showing that he’s not afraid to get dirty.
How isn't this a fumble?pic.twitter.com/Vh59Jw8wWD
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 1, 2023
The Fins had every opportunity to win the game, including some help from the officiating crew. A play that was clearly a fumble on the part of running back Raheem Mostert with a recovery by the Pats was ruled dead. The NFL’s refs have made a number of bad calls this season, and show that they’re still prone to giving away free passes.
Fortunately for New England, they were able to push through and get their 23-21 win. If they hadn’t, the backlash against the refs would have been much greater than just calls for the NFL to fire a couple of zebras.
This game had a few interesting moments, but was almost right on the money for bettors. The favorites won, but the Fins covered the 3-point spread. In addition, the total squeaked past the 41 mark most books listed.
Giants Make It All The Way
The New York Giants have stayed alive. As Daniel Jones threw two TDs and ran for two more, the Giants are back in the postseason for the first time since the 2016 season.
New York made it look easy against the Indianapolis Colts, who already lost any chance of extending their season. The Giants, , who gave Colts QB Nick Foles something to remember them by, won 38-10 on Sunday, controlling the game almost from the start.
Oddsmakers, based on the track record over the past few years, didn’t think the Giants would make it this far when the season began. However, they have overcome injuries and a sloppy start to become the third NFC East team to make it into the postseason.
The Giants are in as a wild card, but will be a team to watch. They’ve already surprised everyone and could continue to do so. Since the introduction of the wild card 53 years ago, 10 teams have gone to a Super Bowl, of which six won the title.
The last time the Giants made it was through a wild card spot, too. However, they exited that game when they lost to the Green Bay Packers. Perhaps this will be their year to shine.
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