When the New England Patriots went into Buffalo and defeated the Bills 40-32 last Sunday, I heard about it from everyone and their mother.
No, I didn’t need the update. I watched Tom Brady carve up Rex Ryan’s defense for 466 yards and three touchdowns with my own eyes. Like most in New England, I was thrilled to see the Patriots silence Ralph Wilson Stadium.
But entering the game, I had told you the Bills would win. So when I was wrong, it came at me from all angles.
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“Pic, how could you bet against the Pats?”
“I can’t believe you thought the Bills would win!”
“Danny, when are you going to learn?!”
These people didn’t acknowledge the fact that I also picked the Patriots to win the AFC East, clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and go on to win Super Bowl 50.
And in fact, none of these people were on-board with me last year after the Patriots’ Week 4 debacle in Kansas City when they got crushed by the Chiefs 41-14 on Monday Night Football, opened the season with a 2-2 record, and had an offensive line that couldn’t block to save its life.
Everyone told me, “These aren’t the Patriots we know.” I responded with, “Nah, the Patriots I know will return home and crush the Cincinnati Bengals at home on Sunday Night Football.” They defeated the Bengals 43-17, went on a seven-game win streak, and ultimately won the Super Bowl.
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Needless to say, I’m still waiting for those texts to roll in, commending me for sticking with the team during its darkest hour.
Only, I wasn’t sticking with the team just because they were the Patriots. I predicted a turnaround last year because their issues were fixable. Nonetheless, the offensive line started blocking, Brady all of a sudden had all these weapons, and the Darrelle Revis-led defense lived up to the hype.
It wasn’t an earth-shattering turn of events. Much like the Bills giving the Patriots fits in Buffalo last Sunday wouldn’t have been too shocking.
But I was wrong, about that at least. I was wrong that the Bills scary front-four would expose a young and inexperience interior offensive line for the Patriots. In fact, the difference in the game was at the line of scrimmage. It just wasn’t the scenario I had expected. Because the Patriots were the ones getting to the quarterback. No more evident than their eight total sacks in the win.
I predicted it to be the other way around. But again, I was wrong.
My point is, even if I was right and the Bills won, I would never be here telling you that the Patriots were dethroned. I would never be telling you that the division is wide open. Because I honestly don’t feel that way.
So when the Patriots crush the Jacksonville Jaguars at home on Sunday, I don’t expect to be getting any calls. But even if I’m wrong and the Jaguars shock the world, I’ll still be sitting here telling you the Patriots are going to win the AFC East, clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and go on to win Super Bowl 50.