8 in a Row

Today, the Patriots defeated the Chargers 41-28 in the AFC Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs. The victory will result in the 8th straight appearance in the AFC Championship game for the Pats. I have a question for all of my fellow football fans. Is that good? I am going to go out on a limb and say that is pretty good. This run of success that the Patriots organization has put together over the Brady and Belichick era is absurd. As Tony Romo said on the air earlier, some of the statistics have to be fake. There is no way that the Patriots have been impressive as they have been, the stats must be fixed. They aren’t and that’s the impressive part. Once more people start to realize it, the better off those people will be as they can appreciate the Patriots success and quit the hating. Looking at today’s performance, the game was never in doubt from the start and the score line wasn’t even as close as it seemed. It all started when Coach Belichick put the ball in Brady’s hands to start the game, going against his usual method of deferring. A methodical drive from the offense on the first series of the game seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game. Brady seemed to be in a rhythm right away and he quickly got White and Edelman heavily involved. Both went on to have fantastic games as proven by their stat lines. The Chargers did answer with a touchdown of their own right away, finding Keenan Allen for a wide-open long touchdown. After that play, the Chargers got nothing easy on offense the rest of the way as the defense really locked down. The front seven were able to get consistent pressure on Rivers all day and made him visibly frustrated. The secondary did not get beat often and they prevented any more big plays from happening. The defense was fast to the ball the entire game and Dont’a Hightower easily played his best game of the year. He was a monster and really helped to set the tone. The offense continued to click as they scored on their first four drives and could move the ball down the field whenever they wanted to. The offensive line played out of their mins, opening up big lanes for Sony Michel and giving Brady all day in the pocket. The chargers usual stout run-defense and pass rush was nowhere to be found. Was Joey Bosa inactive? It seemed like it. Desmond King, an all-pro, also had a horrible game. Their defense played with no confidence the entire game and it showed. Brady was as sharp as a tack, once again proving his haters wrong. He was dinking and dunking to James White, taking what the defense was giving him. But he also zipped the ball down the field when he needed to. The bye week certainly paid its dividends for TB12. Gostkowski did not have to do much but when called upon for his PAT’s and a couple of field goals, he knocked them right down the middle. While it wasn’t exactly high pressure situations, its still a huge positive. He will have to make big kicks next week in Kansas City and this will be a massive confidence booster for him. The Chargers are a solid all-around team who are talented at every position, more well-coached than usual, and really good away from home. Philip Rivers will be in the hall of fame. They were not afraid to come into New England as they have been undefeated on the road this season, including a win at Arrowhead. And the Patriots took care of them with ease. If they can carry this momentum into next week, they can easily reach another Super Bowl. What a performance today. On to Kansas City.

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