Tom Brady will become the NFL’s all-time winningest quarterback this season. And it’s in your best interest to embrace it now while you still have the chance.
I’m not here to go all Max Kellerman on you and proclaim that Brady is about to "fall off a cliff" in terms of production. Seeing what he’s still capable of on Sundays, even after a four-game suspension to begin the season, that proclamation is absurd. But I am here to remind you that success doesn’t last forever. And what the New England Patriots are doing right now just isn’t normal.
Brady picked up the 200th win of his career on Sunday, tying Peyton Manning for most all-time wins after leading the Patriots on a game-winning fourth-quarter drive, en route to a 22-17 win over the New York Jets at MetLife. He finished the game 30-of-50 for 286 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Brady now has thrown 18 touchdowns and just one interception in seven games this season.
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Turn on the radio or log into your social media account, and you might not realize that the Patriots are 9-2 and currently hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC after Week 12. Constantly looking ahead and comparing the Pats to their upcoming opponents has created a certain type of fear that fans in any other city most likely can’t relate to. That’s because, in those other cities, the fears they have for their respective football teams are justified.
Maybe it’s because I’m a sports-talk radio host and I have to take crazy calls for a living, but sometimes I can’t wrap my brain around the negativity that surrounds the Patriots - even after a win.
At 9-2, and with a realistic opportunity to go to a sixth-straight AFC Championship game, there shouldn’t be any complaining at all. Do you know how many fans in other cities would like to enjoy a simple playoff berth? Nevermind a trip to the conference championship?
There’s a reason why everyone in the world hates the Patriots. All they do is win. And while there may be some spoiled punks out there who will point out to me that the Pats have only won one Super Bowl in the last 11 seasons, please keep in mind that in those 11 seasons, the Patriots have missed the playoffs only once, advanced to the AFC Championship seven times, and went to three Super Bowls.
Add New England’s three Super Bowl championships from 2001-2004, and you have a team that’s been playing in the NFL’s version of the “Final Four” 10 times in the last 15 seasons.
Imagine being from Cleveland, loving football, having to watch Tom Brady play in late January almost every single year, and thinking to yourself, “Why can’t that be us?” Or better yet, “Why can’t we just make the damn playoffs?”
Well, the answer is simple. They don’t have Brady and Bill Belichick.
Still, I sometimes have to listen to people break down a Patriots win as if having Brady and Belichick is some type of burden. It’s the usual, “Ok, they got the win, BUT…”
There always seems to be that “but.” And I realize this doesn’t speak for everyone in New England. There are some who embrace this winning environment and enjoy it for what it is. I’ve been called “overconfident” and “cocky” when it comes to my Patriots predictions every week. The world I’d like to live in is one where you aren’t being arrogant for thinking an 8-2 team with Brady and Belichick could go on the road and defeat a 3-7 Jets team that had only one win in their own building this season.
Well, the Patriots went into MetLife and won their ninth game of the season, just as I expected they would. And with more in-conference wins than Oakland, New England leaps back up into the top seed in the AFC for the time being. All because Brady led the way on a Patriots fourth-quarter comeback with a nine-play, 83-yard touchdown drive for his 200th win.
It wasn’t perfect by any means. And they didn’t cover the spread. But I just felt the need to remind some people that — regardless of some obvious flaws — what the Patriots are doing right now, it isn’t a bad thing.
Might as well embrace it before it’s too late.