Seven straight years where the Patriots have been at least a Final Four team is absolutely staggering. Tomorrow they have a host to make their 8th Super Bowl and I’m feeling giddy.
You’d think the Patriots success would make me arrogant about them, but it hasn’t. The Tyree catch shattered any I may have had. My mind went back to “Eli throws a fair amount of picks. He’ll chuck it up for grabs, it’ll get picked off and that will seal the 19-0 season.”
Right now I straddle the fine line of quiet confidence but not arrogance in the team’s chances. Bill’s edict of always respect your opponent but not fear them rings true. Staying within this mindset seems to be right MO.
Situationally it’s been great to see things break the Patriots way. Atlanta could have learned from its mistakes and outshot the Pats in a rematch. New Orleans had a defense and rushing attack to beat them. Thankfully Pittsburgh had the talent, but their coaching staff lacks the strategy to defeat them.
As Bill would say we are onto Jacksonville. What are the chances Jacksonville could win? I peg them at 15 percent. Fournette is big and talented enough to have success even if his ankle is banged up. TJ Yeldon is big, powerful, quick and good at catching passes. You can see them moving the ball with those two. The overwhelming majority of the time a great defense and running game can’t carry an OK quarterback to the Vince Lombardi trophy. Trent Dilfer and 2015 Peyton Manning are the notable exceptions.
Blake Bortles is good enough to play mistake free. Mercedes Lewis is big enough that he can beat Pat Chung in coverage. Jacksonville can get to Tom Brady with just 4 rushers. Their secondary is talented and can blanket the Pats skill players. Tommy’s hand is injured so it’s fair to wonder if he can deliver the ball with accuracy.
How do I see this unfold? I respect Jacksonville but I don’t fear them. My guess is their D holds Brady in check for a while. Offensively they will move the ball but get stalled in the red area. By the 3rd quarter I bet Jacksonville’s D get tired. Brady turns the game into a track meet and targets Gronkowski.
Patriots 26 Jaguars 19
Tommy goes to his 8th Super Bowl!