No, that isn't a typo. No, I'm not overly hydrated. And no, the pressure of the NFL playoffs hasn't gotten the best of me. I stand by that title. Matthew Mulligan is the New England Patriots 2013 Playoff MVP, and the team hasn't even taken the field yet.
Sure, there will likely be players that contribute more to putting points on the board than Mulligan will. And sure, he isn't on most people's radars when it comes to the game changers on this roster currently healthy enough to suit up for the postseason. But impact players and superstars are not the MO of this Patriots team. All-Stars and studs are not what this squad is comprised of. The 2013 Patriots are comprised of Tom Brady and anybody still capable of standing. And because of that, the terms "mental toughness" and "intangibles" have been thrown around much more this season than ever, and with good reason. If this team is going to make a deep playoff run, they are going to do it on grit, determination, and willpower.
Mulligan must realize this just as much, if not more, than the rest of us, which is why he took the initiative to make sure that the fire that has been burning white hot in the New England locker room this year stays blazing full force for the foreseeable future. He took a step back, thought about how he could be of biggest use to this team, and made sure that the Patriots will have the ultimate edge going into these final few games of the season. In my opinion, there are only a handful of people on the planet capable of singlehandedly reversing fate and bending the will of the football gods to suit their own desires, and somehow, someway, Mulligan has alligned the New England Patriots with one of them. Had this happened 20 years ago when I was a snotty-nosed kid just beginning his lifelong, one-sided and abusive relationship with the Pats, I probably would have suffered a heart attack and keeled over on the spot. Now that I'm older, I'm able to sit back and appreciate this day for what it is - the day the Pats finally caught a break that didn't involve a player going on IR. If any of you were nervous about the Colts, you can rest easy. The team is in good hands.
Don't believe me? Click here - but do so at your own risk. If you don't spend the remainder of the day bouncing around the room like you're in a House of Pain music video, take a long look in the mirror.