Where one bloggler puts his money where his two typing fingers are.
Carolina at the Patriots -13. O/U 44.
Yes, we have lost five of six on the road and, yes, we are at home. Yes the defense is abysmal but we are playing the Panthers led by Matt Moore–quick, what college did he go to? Nope, Oregon State. Yes, we haven't won a game since before Thanksgiving, but we are playing a pretty crap team. We have to win. Here's bulletin board fodder for the Pats from Vic Carucci, "The Patriots are unraveling. Look for Miami to overtake them for the AFC East crown and force them to watch the postseason for the second year in a row." While Belichick might have tried to instill discipline in the troops this week by sending home four players who were late for a meeting, I think the vibe of this team needs to be loose. Yes, I said it, they need to relax.
It's not time for the Patriots to "act like they have been there before" because, well, most of them haven't. The defense often looks confused but more often they look tight. The fun, uptempo offense needs to be played with some flair and panache. I want to see some overt swagger though, I suppose cocksurness comes with having been there before. In that case I hope they, gulp, play like kids out there–no pressure.
Blauhg prediction: The Patriots minus the points and stay away from the o/u.