First of all, I’d like to acknowledge the fact that no one wants to hear me, a Patriots fan, complain about playoff games that my team wound up winning. So, kudos to me for recognizing that. Now, on to the complaining.
I’m assuming you watched the Patriots game on Sunday. You must have, since it was the AFC Championship Game. Did you know it was the Pats’ 7th straight? I almost didn’t tune in because they’re so commonplace to me and I already knew what the result would be. Honestly, I wish I hadn’t watched because, once again, the Pats dragged me through the emotional ringer. Got dominated early. Pats were crawling around in the dirt bleeding out, begging to be put out of their misery, but, of course, the Jags take a knee with 55 seconds to go in the first half even though they had two timeouts. When they did that I knew what was going to happen and it was still a super stressful half. And it’s easy to sit there and say I should expect a comeback by now since it’s happened so often and that I should be desensitized to early leads, but that’s just not in my nature. I live to emotionally check out of games as early as possible. I was practically begging the Jags to step on their throat, just like I was hoping the Falcons would keep pouring it on. If the Pats lose I’d rather it be by 30 than 3. Yeah, it’s embarrassing, but at least I’ve been mentally prepared for it since the second quarter. But nooo. Other teams get so scared of having the lead that they just give the game away. If a team goes on a run of unanswered points on the Pats their sideline goes crazy like they just won the Super Bowl, but then the Pats score and all of a sudden they panic. It’d be like 45-3 and the Pats score going into the half and you just know the other team is going to spend the entire half talking about how they’re going to blow it. And of course the Pats gladly oblige. Winning a million championships is awesome and everything (I highly recommend it), but maybe win a game by a comfortable margin every now and then? Is thinking of my health too much to ask?
And this Jags game didn’t have to go this way at all. The Pats don’t lose to the Jags. Everyone in America knew what was going to happen the whole game. Pats just flat out don’t lose to teams like the Jags or the Falcons or the Eagles. They just don’t. They lose to teams like the Giants, Broncos, and Ravens who either have rich histories of being good or have been good pretty much every year since they got out of the expansion phase. Fake teams like the Jags don’t win in Gillette in January. The Jags beat sorry teams like the Steelers, not the Pats. The Falcons beat loser QBs like Aaron Rodgers, not the Pats. There was a 0% chance the Pats were actually going to lose their last, like five playoff games and they found ways to make them interesting. Maybe instead of toying with the poor people of Jacksonville, just win by a lot and save everyone the trouble? No disrespect to the Jags, who I like and wish continued success, but they just weren’t going to win. Especially when they started playing scared and playing not to lose. Like what if the Pats just start the game in hurry up, pass every down, and score at will in the first quarter instead of the fourth? I don’t know, just spitballing here. I know better than to question Belichick. And I know Brady only truly becomes Brady when he’s down multiple scores late, but how about for the Super Bowl we find out happens when they play with a huge lead? Maybe? Probably not. I’d bet my life on the Eagles leading at the half and the Pats winning another nailbiter. Oh well. If I die early, at least I can say I rooted for the greatest.