New England Patriots Can Hang onto Playoff Dreams in Matchup Against Arizona Cardinals

Posted on: December 12, 2022, 09:28h. 

Last updated on: December 12, 2022, 11:26h.

The New England Patriots haven’t been the same lately. This NFL season has found them only a skeleton of the team they once were. But they have a chance to stay alive for the playoffs if they can overcome the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football.

New England Patriots
New England Patriots wide receivers Tyquan Thornton and Nelson Agholor celebrate a play on the field. The Pats are in a must-win situation heading into “Monday Night Football” against the Arizona Cardinals. (Image: Getty Images)

Both of these teams have recorded two consecutive losses heading into Monday’s contest. The Pats (6-6), at the bottom of the AFC East, are having a worse year than even the always-dreadful New York Jets. New England couldn’t find their momentum against either the Minnesota Vikings or the Buffalo Bills.

Arizona (4-8), who’s third in the NFC West, recently lost to the San Francisco 49ers and the LA Chargers. They’re 1-4 across their last five, but should be well-rested as they come off a bye week.

Cardinals Out of Options

The Cardinals have virtually no shot at the playoffs, and a devastating loss to the Chargers on a 2-point conversion sealed the team’s fate for the season. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s side has failed to win two games in a row so far this season, and their home record is 1-0-6.

  Patriots Cardinals
Moneyline -125 +105
Spread -1.5 (-110) +1.5 (-110)
Over/under O43.5 (-110) U43.5 (-110)
  Courtesy of Caesars  

As for the Patriots, they can’t contemplate any other scenario than victory if they plan on seeing any postseason action. Even then, they’re a long shot.

A win tonight would push the Pats up in the standings because of their division performance. Despite being lower than the Jets, New England beat them this season in one of their few moments of greatness.

The Buffalo Bills just took down the Jets, which gave the Patriots a small glimmer of hope at seeing the postseason. A New England win pushes them ahead of the Chargers for the remaining wild card spot, thanks to their conference record.

New England has improved in its road games and has won in two of its last three outings. One of those games was against the Cleveland Browns, while the other was their second Jets matchup.

The last clash on the gridiron between the Pats and Cards took place on Nov. 29, 2020, at Gillette Stadium. The Pats won, 20-17, and are desperate for another win today. This should also be another game that stays under for sports bettors.

New England still has difficulty ahead to close out the season. After tonight’s game, they’ll stay in Arizona to practice before taking on the Las Vegas Raiders next Sunday.

After that, they’ll face the Cincinnati Bengals, the Miami Dolphins, and the Bills. Anything short of a commanding performance in these games will leave the Pats facing an extended vacation.

NFL Playoffs Coming into Focus

The Philadelphia Eagles became the first team to officially reach the playoffs. The team celebrated its 12th win of the season against the New York Giants on Sunday and holds the league’s best record at 12-1.

The Kansas City Chiefs, who took down the Denver Broncos 34-28, are also ready for the postseason. They’re tied with the Bills in the AFC with a record of 10-3, although the Bills are coming off a four-game winning streak. The Chiefs slumped against the Bengals before picking up Sunday’s win.

San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy is no longer irrelevant. He defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7 in his first start, which also means he took down the no-longer-unstoppable Tom Brady.

Purdy threw two TD passes and added one of his own. The Niners can clinch a playoff spot with a win against the Seattle Seahawks this coming Thursday.

The Bucs are still going to advance. They’re on top of the NFC South and have an easy route to the postseason.