Don’t look now, but the New England Patriots are alive and well heading into the playoffs after they clinched their 13th bye since 2001 yesterday!
Think about that: three times they’ve played on Wild Card Weekend, two times they’ve missed the playoffs (including 2008, when Tom Brady tore his ACL), and 13 times they’ve gotten the bye. Those numbers are insane. Here’s something even better: 12 out of those 13 times, they’ve made the AFC Championship Game, and 8 out of the 13 times they’ve made the Super Bowl.
I’m sure people will tell you that it’s just the Jets. I’m sure Dan Shaughnessy and Adam Jones will try to convince you New York had already quit, so it doesn’t matter — but it does! Winning like that helps your confidence moving forward.
Brady was at his best, slinging the ball around the field to whatever receiver happened to be open on the play. That’s right, Phillip Dorsett had five catches, including a nice touchdown, and even Chris Hogan was targeted 11 times. Brady threw four touchdowns, and outside of a 4th and 1 they failed to convert the Patriots were able to pretty much run at will against the Jets.
I know the Patriots finished with an easy end of the season, but it’s hard not to be feeling better about them then you were a few weeks ago. The defense is especially solid at home, and, considering their playoff record at home, it’s not out of the question that they could be playing in February again.
Are they leaps and bounds better than every other team? No. But, outside of a game in Kansas City, wouldn’t you give the Patriots the edge in any game they play? I know I would.
Pat is the host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
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Welcome to the Pats Pulpit Live Postgame show! The Patriots finished the regular season strong and cruised to a win over the Jets today, clinching a first round playoff bye in the process. Send us your questions and comments!Posted by Pats Pulpit: For New England Patriots News on Sunday, December 30, 2018