This year we were told all about how the New England Patriots reign was set to come to an end. From Rob Gronkowski contemplating retirement to rifts in the locker room between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady – we heard it all. The gossip was so juicy we were a few rumors away from airing a new show on the CW Network.
Media then told us how the Pats staggered in to the playoffs with an 11-5 record – laughable in a world consisting of five Super Bowl rings. A first-round bye wasn’t good enough because, well lets face it, only one seeds win the Super Bowl. In reality, since the Patriots Super Bowl victory in 2003, the AFC’s number one playoff seed has only gone on to win the Super Bowl three times.
After the Chargers beat the Ravens, the writing was on the wall. Headlines were already on paper waiting to be distributed to the masses: “The End of the Brady-Belichick Dynasty”. After holding the Ravens to only 229 total yards in the Wild Card round, many experts were adamant the Chargers had the best defense remaining in the playoffs. When the Chargers rolled in to Foxboro, Brady and company silenced the “experts” as they bolted out to a 35-7 lead by halftime. The 12-4 Chargers and their top 10 defense never had a chance.
Big deal, that was in Foxboro, right? No chance that Belichick and Brady can come in to Arrowhead and overcome the deafening decibels to defeat Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Get the headlines ready again, the dynasty is finally over! This time we mean it! So does google. Simply search “dynasty over” and the top three stories will again try and convince you how the end is near.
To beat the Chiefs, the Pats would have to keep Mahomes off the field. How in the world could they possibly do that? After all, the Chiefs finished the season with the 27th ranked rush defense, only five teams worse, so don’t expect the Patriots to be able to control the clock, or the tempo. It doesn’t matter that Patriots running back, Sony Michel, just rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns against the Chargers ninth ranked rush defense, it’s the Chiefs 27th ranked rush defense that will stifle him.
When Michel can’t find any room to run, the Pats will be forced to turn to sixth round pick, Tom Brady. The nearly undrafted quarterback will have no easy task as he is up against the 31st ranked pass defense – only Cincinnati gave up more yards through the air than KC. If Brady thinks he’s going to throw for 343 yards like he did last week against the ninth ranked Chargers pass defense, he better think again. Back in week six, the Chiefs were able to hold Brady to only 340 yards passing, so he’ll likely be in for another long day. TB12 and the Patriots pulled off an improbable – and very lucky – 43-40 victory that week, but their lack of experience on the road in the playoffs will be the cause of their downfall. Bet on it. Vegas would tell you that you’re making the right bet too! (KC is -3).
Even Mr. Brady himself seems to know this is the end. In a post game interview after defeating the Chargers Brady said, “I know, you know, everyone thinks we suck and, you know, cant win any games, so we’ll see. It’ll be fun.”
Just when you thought Tom Brady and Bill Belichick couldn’t possibly pump any more motivation through their veins, they’ve been labeled the underdog against a team they’ve already beat, against a young quarterback with only a day of playoff experience, and just one week after dismantling one of the league’s most formidable opponents. If you’ve ever wondered what continues to drive Tom Brady, it isn’t an Aston Martin. What drives him is you. You and all your doubt.
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