I don't know what to think about this year anymore. After our tumultuous off-season, it seemed as if this year was going to be the most snake-bitten in recent memory. We lost all of our offensive weapons, each for their own outlandish reasons: one for triple homicide, one for triple surgery, one for not fitting in with the locker room, and one while breaking up a true romance with our quarterback.
And remember when we signed Tim Tebow? Dare I say that signing paid off? Doug Kyed of NESN spoke with Sealver Siliga after the Browns game and Siliga, who used to play with Tebow in Denver, told Doug that he was "used to those kind of comebacks because [I] played with Tebow."
I have to say that the Tebow factor rubbed off on the Patriots because for whatever reason, the offense does absolutely nothing for the first three quarters, yet they still find a way to win. In four of their past six victories, the Patriots found themselves with under a 5% chance of winning at some point in the game.
Saints - 3.7% when the Saints were up 27-23 with 2:24 left in the game
Dolphins - 4.0% when the Dolphins went up 17-3 with 11:36 left in the 3rd quarter
Broncos - 0.2% when the Broncos were up 24-0 with 21 seconds until halftime
Browns - 0.0% when the Browns were up 26-14 with 1:33 left in the game
Let's repeat: the Patriots had a 0.0% chance of doing what they did to the Browns.
So thank you Tebow, and thank you to the rest of the Patriots team who have somehow overcome ridiculous adversity to somehow control their own destiny when it comes to home field advantage in the AFC.
Oh, and somehow the Patriots fall into all three of the above categories. The Patriots are a pedestrian 3-3 away and almost lost to the Cleveland Browns at home; their once elite defense has now disintegrated into a seemingly sub-par, yet still top 10 ranked unit; and this team just cannot catch a break with player health, unless it's referring to a tendon or a bone.
Yet here we are, supporting a team held together by Duct Tape and the fear of Bill Belichick's wrath, who can quite possibly run the table to claim home field advantage in the AFC. Tell me this in the off-season, I'd laugh at you. Tell me this at the season's quarter mark, I'd call you absurd. Tell me this at the halfway point, I'd roll my eyes and call you a homer.
Now, in the final quarter of the season, it's more than just a possibility. The Patriots stand with the second best offense in the AFC and the fifth best defense, one of three AFC teams in both top 5 rankings (Kansas City [3/1] and Cincinnati [5/2]). This is an impossible team destined for the only possible finish worthy of this season. It may not be the ultimate prize, but this is a team that will not go quietly.
So whether the Patriots win out against their deceivingly tough schedule (two teams fighting for the final playoff spot, and a divisional game against Buffalo) or not, this has been an improbable season for the ages. I'm just afraid to hope that it never ends, because the odds of that happening are as slim as beating the Browns.