Death, taxes, and Brady beats Rivers. Doesn’t matter what city they play in, at the end of the day the Chargers will never win in New England. I’ll admit, I was obviously worried going into Sunday. I truly do think had Los Angeles walked into Gillette and walked out with a win we would’ve saw major shakeups at Patriot Place. With talk of Arizona being high on Kyler Murray, and subsequent talks their current rookie quarterback Josh Rosen would be available for trade, the Patriots would’ve been pole vaulted into that discussion. With two second round picks and three third rounders in this upcoming draft, New England has the assets to get Rosen following a second round TKO at the hands of Phillip Rivers. Alas, none of that matters, because once again this big bad bully Thomas Brady carved up another “great” defense in January. People were calling their shot, which has become an annual thing since 2013, that this was the year Brady hits the cliff. At points this season those naysayers appeared to be on to something. However, the calendar turned to the new year and this team turned with it, totaling nearly 500 yards on offense and 35 points in the first half. This one was over five minutes, but the big question is “Where do we go from here?”
Geographically to Kansas City obviously, but in terms of this teams outlook, what’s next? They open as underdogs at Arrowhead, where they have struggled, so what should be expected? I think last weeks rhetoric remains the same, just to a lesser degree. A loss to the one seed, on the road, in an AFC Championship game isn’t the same death sentence that a loss last weekend would’ve been. Regardless of the outcome Sunday, next years team will still feature number 12 behind center. However, a loss to the Chiefs may change something in the AFC, something that has spanned over a decade. The Patriots may not have the best quarterback in the conference anymore.
This isn’t a Max Kellerman type hot take, that isn’t based in reality, and solely used for clicks. This is just a simple point about how the AFC has gone since 2001. A team drafts the “next great” quarterback, said quarterback plays well, then gets drubbed by Tom Brady in the playoffs. It happened way back when with Big Ben, a little later with Phillip Rivers, more recently with Andrew Luck, and now it’s Patrick Mahomes turn to give it a try. These are the games were Brady puts guys in their places, the games were he shows that not only does he “still have it”, but he’s still the best doing it. People doubted that last week and he gave them 34-44 with 343 yards and a touchdown. Now it goes without saying if Mahomes only throws it 15-20 times, this game proves nothing, much like when the Jets and Sanchez shocked the world. The defense and the run game opened the door for Sanchez, not the other way around. But if Mahomes trades shots with Brady, which is for sure going to be the game plan, and comes out on top, then maybe the pecking order changes a bit. Ric Flair once said “In order to be the man, woooooooooooo, you’ve got to beat the man”, and the man is on his way to Kansas City for a shoot out.
Tom can’t do it alone though. The Chiefs have the most explosive offense in football and the Pats will need every weapon in their arsenal. Jules will show up, like he always does in the post season. White and Michel will be the two headed monster out of the back field they have been all year, but we need Gronk. He played well in blocking packages Sunday, but that isn’t the Gronk we’ll need in Kansas City. We need the old Gronk. The “too big for corners too fast for line backers” Gronk. The “drag your safety to the end zone and dance in your city” Gronk. The best tight end who has ever lived Gronk. Travis Kelce is very good, some would say the best in the league, but Gronk needs to remind everyone who he is, much like Tom did last round.
This game in Kansas City isn’t to “keep the dynasty alive”. Eight straight AFC championships, and I would bet all my dollars on nine straight next year. This game is to remind everyone that the best quarterback in the world is Tom Brady, and the best tight end is Rob Gronkowski. If both of those guys show up and ball out, I’ll see you in Atlanta.
(Shout out Stephon Gilmore for being very good at not letting guys catch passes.)
Hit the music.