Predicting the Patriots' record

It's hard to believe that the 2013 NFL regular season only has 4 weeks left to live. With 4 games left on the schedule, the Patriots are standing tall at 9-3 with a 3 game lead over the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East. With a win and a Miami loss this week, New England will have locked up yet another AFC East title, something many critics doubted would happen after the Patriots' lost a string of key players this offseason.

At the beginning of the season I thought this team would be very good. The defense was winning games for them and I figured that when the offense began to click, the Patriots would be hard to beat. The offense has really come together since Rob Gronkowski has returned to action, however, the defense has suffered a number of significant injuries and played poorly over the last few weeks. I think the Patriots will finish the season strong, but there is still one more loss left in this team. I'll predict that they finish the season with a respectable 12-4 record, and head into the playoffs as one of the teams to beat in the AFC. With that being said, lets take a look at the Pat's remaining games.

Week 14 -- Browns @ Patriots

The Browns' quarterback situation is a mess. I don't even think the Browns know who is going to start for them on Sunday. It might be newly signed Caleb Hanie who has been out of football since training camp, or Alex Tanney, who the Brown's recently stole off of the Dallas Cowboy's practice squad. However, either Brandon Weeden or Jason Campbell could make surprise comebacks and snag the starting gig, but that seems unlikely as both players have been sidelined with concussions. Playing in Foxboro in December is probably going to be too much to overcome for whoever the Browns decide to throw out there. The Patriots will take this one to the bank and cash in their 10th win on the year.

Week 15 -- Patriots @ Dolphins

If the Patriots don't lock up the AFC East this week, a win against the Dolphins next week would do the trick. With so much on the line, Bill Belichick will have the Pats ready to handle their business, and sure up another division crown.

Week 16 -- Patriots @ Ravens

This is where I think the Pats are in some trouble. Going on the road to Baltimore against a team that is coming on strong of late will be no easy task. After some early season struggles, Ray Rice, Joe Flacco and company look like they are beginning to regain their championship form. The defense for Baltimore has played well all year. I'm not sure what the Raven's playoff situation will be 2 weeks from now, but I'm assuming they will have more to play for than the Patriots, who should have already locked up the East. Baltimore steals a close one late, handing New England their 4th and final loss of the regular season.

Week 17 -- Bills @ Patriots

Patriots put up 21 in the first half. Ryan Mallet plays the rest of the game. The Patriots blow out the Bills who, at this point in the year, will have nothing left to play for.

And from there it is anyone's guess. Let's hope a few balls bounce the Pats' way and Tom Brady gets to play in the first ever Blizzard Bowl in New York. I'll take the wind.

-Ryan Cereola