Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Final Verdict: Sunday's first final continued a theme that began on Thursday night.
It's shakeup week in the AFC.
Not only did the New England Patriots fail to capitalize on Denver's loss to the San Diego Chargers, but in falling 24-20 to the Miami Dolphins the Pats opened the door for the Cincinnati Bengals to take control of the number two seed in the conference.
Think they miss Rob Gronkowski yet?
ESPN: Dolphins (7-6)
CBS Sports: Dolphins (5-3)
Fox Sports: Patriots (4-1)
USA Today: Dolphins (4-3)
Bleacher Report: Patriots (8-4)
Overall: Patriots (24-21)
The New England Patriots are easily the most depressed 10-3 football team in the NFL.
That's because last week's come-from-behind win over the Cleveland Browns came at a very high price. And now, with tight end Rob Gronkowski out for the year, the Patriots have to figure a way past the loss of a critical part of their offense.
Bleacher Report NFL National Lead Writer Mike Freeman isn't seeing it, casting his vote with a large block who feels the Dolphins will keep their playoff hopes alive at home.
"Rob Gronkowski's loss is devastating in any number of ways," Freeman wrote, "and it keeps this game close. The Dolphins are dangerous now."
However, NFL National Lead Writer Michael Schottey disagrees, joining an even larger block forecasting a win for the Pats:
Look, I spent months telling y'all to wait until Gronkowski's back to see the Patriots offense in its true glory. So I'm not going to sit here now and say that his loss isn't going to hurt their production. Still, they won a lot of games without him, so I trust that to happen here as well.