The Recap- Patriots

It was another year where the Patriots were favored to win the AFC East (as we expect) and make the playoffs. You can think what you want about this team, they will always be one of the final four standing when it matters. Let’s recap their season.

Key Moments- Regular Season

1. Week one, vs Houston– This was a fun way to begin the season. The seasoned veteran quarterback against the young man in Deshaun Watson. The league’s oldest MVP in history showed up and showed out throwing for 277 yards passing and three touchdown passes to open the season up with a 27-20 win over the Texans.

2. Week four, Vs Miami– Maybe some home cooking would’ve done them well. They were entering this game losers of two in a row on the road in a conference title rematch to Jacksonville in week two and the Detroit Lions in week three. The concerns, doubts and questions were all coming in. Are they done? Have they seen their better days? This was a game the Patriots needed, and they continued their dominance of the Miami Dolphins. The losing streak was also snapped, and this would begin one of their streaks.

3. Week six, Vs. Kansas City– This was one of the best games I had seen all year. It was another top quarterback match up. The up and coming star who was wowing people each week in Mahomes against the best to do it. New England came out and neutralized a Chiefs offense that was crushing their opponents weekly. Then came the second half and the Chiefs got themselves back into the game. I was on the edge of my seat watching this Sunday nighter. Ultimately, I figured that 30 points would be needed to decide this one and we got 40 instead. The Patriots got the win and handed the Chiefs their first loss of the season.

4. Week nine, Vs. Green Bay– For the second time ever, we got to see Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady square off, two of the best quarterbacks in the business. Here I was thinking the game would be an offensive showdown, but both defenses stepped up and pressured the opposing quarterbacks. Eventually in the fourth quarter, the Patriots imposed their will and put the game away. They were sitting at 7-2 atop their division and the conference along with being winners of six in a row.

5. Week ten, at Tennessee– This was a family reunion of some sorts. There are many ties between the Patriots and Titans. Mike Vrabel was once a key member of the Patriots defense, now he’s the head coach of the Titans. Dion Lewis and Malcolm Butler were also members of the Pats and now, members of the Titans. This was one of the worst games I had seen the Patriots play in a very long time. The offensive line struggled, Brady looked timid and shaky and the offense scored ten points. This game snapped the Patriots six-game winning streak.

6. Week 14, at Miami– They have always struggled against the Dolphins in Florida. I knew this would be a tough battle for them. Early on, they took control and the offense was laser focused as Tom would say. His passes were crisp, the receivers were sharp, and Sony Michel got his touches. It was a different game in the second half as the Dolphins didn’t go away. Let’s talk about that final play of the game. This was one of the few times I questioned Bill Belichick and his coaching because he didn’t have McCourty on the field and the Phins ran the trick play of a lifetime and ended up scoring. This was a tough loss for New England.

7. Week 15, at Pittsburgh– This showdown didn’t have the buzz that it did in 2017, but whenever these two teams play, you know you’re going to get a classic. No quarterback has owned the Steelers more throughout his career than Tom Brady. He entered this game with an 11-2 record against the black and yellow. The 2017 showdown was a high-scoring affair. This one, not so much. The Steelers finally stuck to their game plan and added on to the Patriots road woes. This was New England’s first time losing two games in a row in December for the first time since 2002.

8. Week 17, vs NY Jets– It was the season finale. What’s a better way to gain some momentum than to end the regular season with a win? I know this was a game against the Jets, but this was the type of performance they needed. Brady and the offense looked sharp, the defense did their job and the Patriots cruised to another victory. They finished the regular season with an 11-5 record and the two seed in the AFC. Another first-round bye, their eighth consecutive year with a week off in the playoffs.


9. Divisional Round, vs. L.A. Chargers– This game marked the eighth career matchup between Philip Rivers and Tom Brady. Tom has been victorious in each match up. It really isn’t January football without the Patriots. This was also Tom Terrific’s 38th career playoff game. They were beginning to look like the Patriots we’ve been accustomed to seeing. The running game was sharp, Brady had forever and a day to throw the football, the receivers caught everything, and the defense kept their foot on the gas. The Patriots beat the Chargers once again and in my Bill Belichick voice, it’s on to Kansas City.

10. AFC Championship, at Kansas City– I think this was the match up that we all wanted again. The top two teams in the AFC facing off for a trip to Atlanta to play in Super Bowl 53. If this game was anything like the regular season showdown, we were in for a good one. New England took charge and silenced Arrowhead early on. In the second half, it was more of a back and forth game and the Chiefs didn’t go away lightly. This game needed overtime to decide this one. Brady and company got the ball first and this game showed why he’s still one of the best in the league today. When you need him to deliver in the clutch moments, this is when he steps up and shows out. The Patriots got the ball first in overtime and punched it in the endzone to clinch yet another spot in the Super Bowl. Their third straight appearance, fourth in five years and ninth appearance under Bill Belichick.