Gary Tanguay: Pats could lose division, fails at basic math

Comcast SportsNet's Gary Tanguay said yesterday that he thinks there is a legitimate chance the Patriots could lose the AFC East to either the Bills or Dolphins because of injuries sustained to Jerod Mayo, Chandler Jones and Stevan Ridley.

I played the won-loss game -- which, of course, is a crap-shoot, but it’s all I’ve got to work with; my crystal ball is in the shop -- and as I see it, there's a legitimate possibility the Patriots could finish 10-6. I can absolutely see them losing to Denver, Indianapolis, Green Bay and San Diego. (If they were playing the Colts and Chargers in Foxboro, I'd say they'd win those games, but they're both on the road.) And if they lose to the Bears this Sunday, they'll be in real trouble.

He then goes on to say that he sees both Buffalo and Miami finishing 8-8, but also thinks that Buffalo could finish 9-7 if they can beat Cleveland at home later in the year, which, in his eyes, would put both the Bills and the Patriots at 9-7.

Didn't he just say he said he saw the Patriots going 10-6 or am I missing some basic math here?

The Dolphins and Bills still both have to play the Broncos and Patriots one more time, teams that are better than them. The Bills also still have to go up against the Chiefs, Browns and Packers, which are all tough outs, especially Green Bay.

The Dolphins have dates with the Chargers and Ravens and the Jets twice.

Did I mention that Miami and Buffalo also have to go at it head-to-head one more time this season as well?

Granted, the way the Patriots' schedule lines up, it looks a little more daunting than their division rivals are going to go through. But the teams I just listed are all very good besides the Jets. We all know how those divisional match ups go, though.

Yes, Mayo and Ridley are done for the season, but Jones isn't. He'll be back and will make a difference when that happens. The Patriots will obviously miss him, as he is one of the best young pass rushers in the game. But by now, the football world knows if there is any team who can overcome losses to injury like this, it's New England. Jones could be back as early as the Pats Sunday Night match up in Indianapolis against the Colts, so he could realistically only miss two games.

All of that being said, the only thing I agree with Tanguay on is that I can also see New England losing to Denver and Green Bay, but not Indianapolis and San Diego. I also don't see them losing to the Bears this Sunday.

Could the Patriots lose the AFC East for the first time since 2008? Sure. But the only way I see that happening is if Tom Brady and other key players are lost to injury for an extended period of time. That's unlikely. A lot would also have to break right for Buffalo and Miami, and both of their quarterback situations are iffy at best.

The moral of the story here is: don't pay attention to a guy who can't add and subtract.

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