It should probably could as no surprise to New Englanders that this is how the NFL playoffs would play out this year.
First, ex-Pat Tom Brady methodically dismantles the Washington Football Team in the Wild Card round with talented wideouts Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown and resurgent running back Leonard Fournette to the tune of 31-23.
Brady and Co. upped the ante this past weekend in the Divisional round, speeding up Drew Brees retirement plans and sending the Saints packing 30-20. It was the Bucs’ D though that got the job done, intercepting Brees three times; holding Alvin Kamara under 100 yards, limiting the All-Pro running back to no touchdowns – – he had six TDs against the Vikings Dec. 30 – – and keeping All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas without a catch.
Brady is now on his way to Green Bay for his 14th conference championship game.
I have to laugh though because the haters have come out in full force. One tweeter on Sunday evening even wanted to remind everyone that Brady has “0 REAL RINGS” because he was “bailed by Tuck Rule,” “bailed by Vinatieri,” “bailed by Mcnabb’s 3 picks,” “saved by Malcolm Butler,” “Falcons choked,” and “bailed by defense.”
Well, let me bail out this tweeter, and point out the obvious.
First of all, there is no “I” in team.
Where would Joe Montana be without Jerry Rice? Troy Aikman without Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin? Now, how about Josh Allen without Stefon Diggs? Patrick Mahomes without Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill? Aaron Rodgers without Davante Adams?
If there was no “Philly Special” in Super Bowl LII, Brady’s bunch likely would have seven championships. Make that eight if David Tyree’s fingers had come unglued from that superhuman catch in Super Bowl XLII or if Eli Manning had not pulled a Houdini on that same play or if Asante Samuel had secured that interception just one play earlier instead of dropping it near the sidelines. Or nine….
I could go on and on and on…but let me stop there.
Famed fantasy football analyst/enthusiast/columnist/author/fanatic Matthew Berry tweeted out last night: “Told he was too old. Told he was a product of Bill Belichick. Told he was stupid for leaving New England. Tom Brady is now 1 game away from playing the Super Bowl in his home stadium.”
Brady has the Bucs poised to take on Rodgers, and then, if they can advance, it’s either the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs or Buffalo Bills, who unseated the New England Patriots for the first time in decades.
The country has been sharply divided on politics more so than ever before. It appears the love-hate divide is the same when it comes to Brady for his overwhelming success as a Patriot, the cheating scandals tied to the Patriots during several of those championship runs, his outsized Hollywood appeal, and his bitter departure from Foxboro.
I jumped on this bandwagon the day Brady signed in Tampa. The wheels are still rolling forward. There’s still room for more to jump aboard. Hop on in!
Be on the lookout for our Beat The Putz Football Challenge grand prize winners.