This morning, I've been thinking how unbelievable it is that we've made it all the way to the divisional playoffs already. It seems only yesterday that we were over-analyzing Marques Murrell's big sack on Drew Brees in the season opener, fretting about whether or not Jermaine Cunningham would ever see the field like his outside linebacker counterpart Shawn Crable, and wondering whether or not Logan Mankins would ever return to the team.
Heck, it seems like yesterday that the Patriots had just drafted the likes of Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes, and Aaron Hernandez, all rookies who will be starting for the Patriots today. It's truly amazing how wonderfully this team has played, and how quickly they have come together, putting together a pretty historic 14-2 season in the process.
Of course, this team isn't perfect. There are flaws, as with any team. Still, with the best coach and best quarterback at the NFL at the helm, there is now denying that it's Super Bowl or bust with this Patriots team. This team, believe it or not, is championship tested. A lot of these rookies have played on big time stages before. Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham, and Aaron Hernandez, all played and won two national championships with the Gators in 2006 and 2008. Brandon Deaderick, who should see time at defensive end today, won a national championship just last year. A lot of these players have been there before, and will be ready to go today.
Overall, it's a pretty overwhelming feeling, with the Patriots, as I commonly refer to it, are playing in the "bid to get the chance to play into the Super Bowl." Of course, that simply means that a Patriots victory today gives them a chance to play in the AFC Championship, and an opportunity to play their way into the Super Bowl. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. Today, the Patriots have an elimination game, which means they could be playing their last game of the season.
It's time to take down the Jets in round three.
ENJOY WITH ABSOLUT RESPONSIBILITY®