If you told me in the 2nd quarter of the Patriots Texans game in week 3 that by Thanksgiving the Patriots would have a chance to get the 1 seed in the AFC, I would have asked if all the other teams simply died. Assumed Cole Beasley started a league wide spread that left only Nick Folk unaffected, winning every game 3-0.
But something even more amazing happened. The Patriots just won games, 5 in a row to be exact. Early in the season they stacked up some pretty impressive moral victories against the Cowboys and the Buccaneers, but against the teams they really should have a guaranteed win they stacked actual victories. With a physical defense and offensive line that can block, plus a QB who can manage a game and make a clutch throws when you need him to, it seems the Patriots may have found a winning formula that is only the exact winning formula that has dominated the league for the last 20 years. Novel stuff here.
As Patriots fans, we were told the dynasty is over. The 2020 AFC East Champion Buffalo Bills were about to start their Cinderella story and run the division through Orchard Park like they run through a folding table. Tom Brady is gone, and the national nightmare is finally over. Fans from 31 other teams rallied behind the Bills. America’s sweethearts, about to avenge their disastrous misfortune at the hands of the Patriots that started before Josh Allen was born.
It took Bill Belichick one year to find a way to get back there, even if only temporarily. “For the first time since 2019” is not an impressive stat. It’s been one year. The Patriots took 2020 to retool and refocus with the rest of the world and have restored the natural balance of the universe this weekend with their AFC East lead. It’s so poetic too that it’s the Colts that helped them get there.
Patriots fans, don’t let Boston media or anyone on Twitter tell you thinking about the Super Bowl or calling Mac Jones the next Tom Brady is too premature. That they “just beat” the Falcons with no Calvin Ridley, the Browns with a broken Baker Mayfield, or the Jets. It’s been 2 whole years since we got to do the Super Bowl talk, we finally deserve it.
No one wants to see the Patriots in January, I can tell you that.