Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/24/12
Nothing is certain about the Patriots’ playoff scenarios. There are so many moving parts to keep track of, that it’s difficult for Bill Belichick or anyone down at Gillette Stadium to know who, or even when, they’ll be playing next. That uncertainly shouldn’t impact the players, though, as their sole responsibility is the visiting Miami Dolphins this weekend. Belichick’s attention, though? Well, that’s a different story. “I think that there’s a certain amount of planning and looking ahead that as a head coach you need to do, or organizationally you need to do,” Belichick said during his weekly conference call on Monday. “We could be traveling in the playoffs. We have to be looking at where we would stay if we travel somewhere, things like that. You can’t be totally oblivious to possibilities that exist out there, because you don’t know, on something like that, we don’t even know when we’re going to be playing next, or who we’re going to be playing next. There’s quite a few possibilities.” The possibilities may not be endless, but they are aplenty. The Patriots can still finish in any of the top-four spots in the AFC playoff picture. Right now, they sit in the No. 3 seed and chances are that they’ll have to play on wild card weekend. So, Belichick is at least preparing for the Colts and Bengals — the two teams he knows will be playing in the first round. “If we were to play next week, then we would be playing one of two teams,” Belichick said. “We’ll certainly start working on both of those teams [Indianapolis and Cincinnati] this week so when we find out if that’s the way it goes, who we play, Sunday night, we’ll already have the information ready that we can jump on either Indianapolis or Cincinnati, if that’s the scenario we’re in. We may or may not be in that scenario, but that’s the most immediate one, so that’s where we’ll plan next.” Belichick’s focus may be on Miami, but his eyes are forced to at least glance forward at the possibilities that lie ahead. As for the players, Belichick was adamant that their sole focus was on fixing issues from last week and to prepare for the division-rival Dolphins. “From the players’ standpoint, they’re kind of week-to-week,” Belichick added. “If we play next week in the Wild Card weekend, the team that we don’t play, the players will never even really know that we worked on them, because we won’t send them the material to have gone over it or anything like that. The challenge for the coaches and the scouting staff and the organization is to stay ahead of the curve so that when we have the players in here, we give them the immediate and most pertinent information for our next opponent. We do that every single week, we always focus on what we’re doing.” The Patriots are right to keep their focus on this week, considering they’ll need a win if there’s any hope at securing a first-round bye. Belichick’s job is a little different, though, and if his team is forced to play on opening weekend, then he needs to be sure they’re going to be ready come Monday morning. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Report: 49ers could talk trade for QB at the NFL Scouting Combine

Best of YB: The state of the NBA following the trade deadline

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

Best of YB: The state of the NBA following the trade deadline

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker