Posted on January 18, 2019, by Travis Pulver
If you listen to Tom Brady talk, the world has counted the New England Patriots out already. But the general consensus is that the Patriots are no longer any good and they can’t win despite their 12-4 regular season record and victory over the Chargers.
However, it is worth remembering that this is according to Brady. He expressed his thought on the subject after defeating the Chargers last week:
“Everyone thinks we suck, and we can’t win any games. We’ll see. It’ll be fun.”
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But is anyone really saying that? Or is anyone that actually knows a thing or two about football saying that? Because if they are, then they clearly do not really know a thing about the game. Otherwise, they would know that Brady has led the Patriots to eight straight Conference Championship games and 13 over the course of his career.
So, yeah– he’s pretty good and so are the Patriots. They may not have gotten the job done quite like they have in year’s past, but they got it done.
They would also know that 12 regular season wins is nothing to shake a stick at. So—is Brady listening to a bunch of morons that do not know a thing about football and making a big deal out of it? Or could he just be making a mountain out of a molehill?
More than likely, it’s the mole hill thing. But why?
Because Brady and the Patriots are entering unfamiliar territory. For only the sixth time out of 14 total Conference Championship game appearances, they are playing on the road. Of the five previous trips, they lost their last three.
Not only that, but for the first time since the 2015 game against the Broncos in Denver, they are underdogs. The Chiefs are favored Sunday by three.
So, they aren’t picked as the favorite to win by oddsmakers. That, along with those in the media and on social media who have predicting the demise of the Patriots every season for years, is fueling the whole ‘we suck’ an ‘bet against us’ thing the Patriots are trying to push.
But is any of the disrespect, real or just alleged, legitimate? Should the legion of fans the Patriots be concerned about their team when they face off against the mighty Kansas City Chiefs offensive juggernaut Sunday?
Patrick Mahomes is young and inexperienced, but he has done an incredible job in his first season as a starter in the NFL. With him at the helm during the regular season they had the No. 1 offense in total yards and scoring. He was second to only Ben Roethlisberger in passing yards (5097) but led the league by far in touchdowns (50).
When he was still fairly new to the NFL in Week Six, he torched the Patriots secondary for 352 yards and four touchdowns. To be fair, his two interceptions led to a 14-point swing in favor of the Patriots. So, while he had a really good game overall, his mistakes were costly.
But three months and 11 games later, it is probably safe to assume he has gotten better. Can the Patriots defense say the same thing?
It is hard to say. They looked great in the first half against a very good Chargers team last week. But they only held them back for a half. Is there any reason to think they can hold back a better Chiefs offense this week? In Week Six, the Chiefs scored on every drive but three, the two he threw interceptions on and one three and out.
Is Julian Edelman Right?
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman latched on to Brady’s disrespect sentiment earlier this week and challenged people to ‘Bet Against Us’ and even sold t-shirts.
So– should you?
Much like the Chiefs, the Patriots scored on almost every drive back in Week Six. They missed on two, one that ended with a fumble and the other with a turnover on downs. So, there is no doubt that the Patriots can score on the lackluster defense of the Chiefs.
But can they get the two or three stops that they will need from theTh
Trusting them to do so is a little hard to count on. With how well the Chiefs offense has been clicking, the safer bet would be to take the Chiefs straight up. But if you are going against the spread take the Patriots (+3). This is going to be a high scoring game, but a close one (which also makes the over a safe bet(56)).