The New England Patriots' Sunday went about as well as anyone could have hoped. With just one more victory, the Patriots will clinch homefield advantage for the AFC playoffs. The real question is which players will still be around to partake?
JKraft: I think it's worth pointing out that Tom Brady is playing the game at 38... better than any other 38 year old has played the game.— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) December 20, 2015
This...this is technically true, but maybe not with context. No 38 year old has ever played at a higher level than Tom Brady has been at this season. Brady's passer rating of 103.8 is the highest for any age-38 quarterback in NFL history, edging out 2014 Peyton Manning (101.5) and ahead of 2007 Brett Favre (95.7).
If we want to add context, well, passer ratings are up across the league. Pro Football Reference offers a "Passer Rating+" stat that basically compares a quarterback to the rest of the league at any given year. So a player that scores 120 is 20% better than any other quarterback in that given season, a score of 100 is completely average, and so on.
Brady falls behind 1981 Bronco's Craig Morton into a mere second place finish. The average quarterback in 1981 posted a passer rating of 70.5, compared to 88.8 in 2015.
The best season for a 38+ year old quarterback belongs to 2009 Vikings great Brett Favre in his 39th year, with a passer rating of 107.2.
The Titans beat three NFL football teams this season.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) December 20, 2015
It took a fumbled punt for the Titans to get on the board, and the defense forced them backwards. This is a terrible, no good, very bad team. The Patriots were playing a traffic cone at linebacker and a mop at wide receiver and were still able to win comfortably.
Amendola's knee has required a considerable amount of treatment since he sprained it vs. BUF. Been playing way less than 100 percent.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) December 20, 2015
No INT for Malcolm Butler. Leonard Johnson called for holding. Hightower limping badly to the sideline. Checked by trainers on bench.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) December 20, 2015
So the two players #Patriots rushed back from injury re-aggrevate the same exact injury.— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) December 20, 2015
And then the traffic cone was injured and the mop's handle broke, so the Patriots had to field an aloe plant on offense and the ghost of Matt Cassel at linebacker.
Here's an idea: Anyone that has missed time in the past three weeks gets time off against the Jets. The Dolphins could still yield a top five pick in the draft and they won't want to win, but the Jets need a win. Put Jimmy Garoppolo out for the second half. Don't even consider risking Patrick Chung or Devin McCourty or Danny Amendola or Julian Edelman.
No more injuries are allowed. No one that is a high risk of an injury should be allowed to play.
So this is what it feels like to see your life flash before your eyes. pic.twitter.com/gJE2tMf5D0— David Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) December 20, 2015
Oh, yeah, this was a nightmare scenario.
lol "the patriots answer"
to a question that was never asked, perhaps.
The Titans outscored the Patriots in the second half, but even Titans fans had to laugh at the notion of competition.
Patriots are playing Matthew Slater at receiver— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) December 20, 2015
Oh. Ooooooh. This is a sight no one should see. If Brandon LaFell is nicked up, then the offense will be Keshawn Martin and...Martin and...Leonard Hankerson?
Please no. Josh, take us away!
We're on to the Jets and homefield advantage.