Nothing makes me happier than Tom Brady. Nothing.
And most of New England probably felt the same way as #12 took the field on a chilly Massachusetts Saturday afternoon to the tune of Jay Z's "Allow Me To Re-Introduce Myself," from his song "Public Service Announcement." And to think anyone could forget who Touchdown Tommy is.
As soon as everyone took the field, there was some nastiness to this game, and I'm not entirely sure why. Kansas City's stellar tight end, Travis Kelce, felt the need to mock the GOAT right out of the gate:
As you can guess, Brady did not take kindly to that and the two exchanged pleasantries. When will opposing teams learn? Do not get Tom Brady angry, you won't like him when he's angry.
Right out of the gate, Tom Brady was, well, angry. New England did not call a run until its 15th snap, during its second possession, and was incredibly pass-heavy for the duration of the game. Tom Brady finished the day 27-41, for 302 yards, 2 touchdowns and a passer rating of 103.5. Not bad.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for Tom Brady bashers to deny his greatness, while Tom Brady worshippers are declaring him the GOAT. I respect what Joe Montana did, but if Tom Brady wins another Super Bowl, then this conversation is OVER.
Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski's health were in question coming into this game, but neither looked to be limited at all. Minitron finished the day with 10 receptions for 100 yards, and could have had even more if it wasn't for his 4+ drops. As for Gronk, it was business as usual with 7 receptions for 83 yards and 2 touchdowns. Gronk's two touchdowns propelled him into history, as he has now caught more touchdown receptions in the postseason than any other tight end in NFL history. Not bad for a 26-year-old.
Again, everyone on the Patriots' offense was fired up. Even Josh McDaniels.
I'm guessing it was because the Titans hired Mike Mularkey as their head coach, which means McDaniels is staying in New England. But hey, thats just me.
The Patriots' defense let up a couple crucial third-down conversions, but were solid for the most part. Dont'a Hightower, Jerod Mayo, Chandler Jones, and Jamie Collins were all banged up on the day, but, from early reports, none of those injuries are serious.
There is a reason that I have talked entirely about the Patriots, and its not because my website is called BiasedBostonSports.com.
From Alex Smith's inability to throw downfield in key situations to Andy Reid's clock mismanagement at the end of the game, Kansas City just couldn't compete with the Patriots. Smith did a good job spreading the football around and scrambling out of the pocket, but he could never make that big play to keep a crucial drive alive. Without top receiver Jeremy Maclin, who was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain last week against the Houston Texans, the Chiefs had a hard time moving the ball downfield with any type of regularity.
While the final score, 27-20, is relatively close, it does not dictate just how dominant the Patriots were in this win-or-go-home game. From the beginning of the first quarter to the final seconds of the fourth, there was no doubt in my mind that the Patriots were going to lose. If you read our weekly Roundtable, you saw that I went against the grain and said the Pats were going to blow the Chiefs out. I guess it wasn't a total blowout, but it was pretty damn close.
The Patriots snapped Kansas City's 11-game win streak, while tying the 1973-1977 Oakland Raiders for consecutive conference title appearances at five. This was also the 22nd postseason win for Brady and Belichick, who will play the winner of Sunday afternoon's game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos.
By Pete Packowski