2. Tom Brady's Got Wheels
Football comes down to effort and I think this GIF shows a lot about the mentality of these two teams at the end of the year. This is Tom Brady scrambling and lowering his shoulder on 3rd and 11 and it's a completely insane decision in 2013, but kind of became expected in 2014. He took this team to the next level with this run.
The Dolphins? There's, like three or four players on their defense who see Brady run by and instead of increasing the effort and chasing him down, they just slow to a trot to watch and hope someone else can make the stop.
The Patriots win because they're just a mentally strong team. I don't think there's any question that they're mentally tougher than any other team in the division.
6. Opposite Ends of the Spectrum
On the other side, I'm not the biggest fan of Richard Sherman. I find his bravado and me-against-the-world mentality eye-rolling, but that's kind of how the Seahawks approach their everyday grind. It works for them, so I don't really mind- and the Patriots had that same mentality down the back stretch of the season, even though they were clearly the best team in the AFC.
But when Sherman extended for a handshake at the end of the Super Bowl, I got it. It wasn't cool what he did to Michael Crabtree after the 2013 NFC Championship Game. Sherman extending his hand to Brady is totally different than if Brady had put out his hand for Sherman. In both situations, Sherman's in control and one is an assertion of dominance (over Crabtree) and one is admitting defeat (with Brady).
That's what Sherman does and that's who he is.
I hope Darrelle Revis comes back for another round.