Is time up on the New England Patriots and Tom Brady?

The New England Patriots are the biggest bad guys in American sports. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have led the Patriots to a clutch of trophies teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Detroit Lions can only dream of. NFL football fans looking for the latest Vegas free slots can play the newest games in the build-up to New England’s AFC Playoff first round game against the Tennessee Titans.

Despite New England’s success over the last two decades, time may be running out for Belichick’s bad guys. New England fell in shocking fashion to AFC East rivals the Miami Dolphins, 27-24, in Week 17 of the NFL season. The loss means New England must play the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wildcard playoff round. The Kansas City Chiefs, who defeated New England 23-16 at the beginning of December, usurped the Pats and will now have a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

While it is easy to claim the Patriots are finished heading into the NFL Playoffs, the numbers should remind us that they are far from finished. New England finished the 2019 regular season at 12-4. It was the joint second-best record in the AFC. The Chiefs’ win over the Pats at Gillette Stadium is the only reason they finished ahead of the reigning Super Bowl winners.

Let us not forget that the Patriots are coming off of a 22nd AFC East title. How dominant has New England been in the AFC East? The Patriots won the AFC East in each season in the last decade and five of the 10 Super Bowls played over the last 10 years.

Brady, who has been the catalyst to New England’s success since joining the franchise in 2000, is getting older and a decline has set in. Brady threw for 4,057 total yards, 24 touchdowns, and averaged 253.6 yards per game. Although good numbers, they show he is coming to the end of an illustrious career.

The problem with the Patriots is it feels like we hit this point of no return each season. The team plays great, suffers a defeat, and suddenly Brady and the Pats are written off. Sure, his numbers may not be as high as they once were, he is now 42, but the Patriots often come good during the playoffs.

It is easy to forget Brady willing the Patriots back against the Chiefs last season in the AFC Championship Game or the improbable Super Bowl LI comeback to beat the Atlanta Falcons. Brady needs to keep topping himself especially when the Patriots suffer losses or the media and fans proclaim his demise.

The Tennesse Titans have played New England 40 times with only 16 of those meetings ending in wins. Although Tennessee defeated New England when they last played in the regular season in 2018, 34-10, the Pats edged the Titans in their more recent playoff game, 35-14, in January 2018.

New England’s time won’t be up until Brady is ready to hang it up at Gillette Stadium. NFL fans, including Patriots supporters, can be down on the team going into the playoffs, but a win against the Titans and everyone will be back on the Brady bandwagon.

AFI
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