Monday, January 16, 2017

Jumping The Gun

Shank's previous column was quite shaken about the Patriots' win over the Houston Texans. The next day (or when he sobered up - take your pick), he's back on the No Worries Bandwagon, presuming once again to speak for all Patriots fans with the royal 'we' and barely acknowledging the AFC Championship game.
We are greedy. We don’t want the Patriots to simply embarrass the commissioner, make history, and win Super Bowl LI in Houston Feb. 5. We want to see the Pats settle old scores and beat the highest-profile opponents. That’s why the last two weekends have been a little disappointing as we watched the Giants, Seahawks, and Cowboys get eliminated from the tournament.

I know . . . first thing first. The Patriots have a pretty big game Sunday night at Gillette Stadium. They will be playing in their record sixth consecutive AFC Championship game, facing the ever-dangerous Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Beating Pittsburgh is going to be a lot harder than beating the Texans in the divisional round. (Oh, and Roger Goodell was in Atlanta Saturday, so he’s got to come to Foxborough, right?)

All that said, there’s a popular notion in these parts that no team in the AFC is going to beat the Patriots at Gillette Stadium this season. That’s what a 15-2 record does.

And right about now I’m dreaming of a Super Bowl matchup featuring New England’s defense against Green Bay gunslinger Aaron Rodgers.

1 comment:

Monkeesfan said...

He's even assuming Aaron Rodgers makes it out of Atlanta, where he lost 33-32 earlier this year - of course Shank wouldn't think to do some actual research such as that Rodgers is historically among the weakest fourth-quarter quarterbacks in league history - before the 2012 season Cold Hard Football Facts publicized his irrelevance in the fourth quarter when he was 3-18 in comeback attempts; ESPN then noticed this trend when he fell to 5-24 after Green Bay's hilarious collapse at Cincinnati, and it hasn't gotten better - the six points scored in the fourth by Green Bay showcased Rodgers' weakness in the clutch, as the game-winning drive was an exception that proves the rule.