It’s that time of the year again. Food, football, friends, family, and the New England Patriots dominating whichever team they face each and every Sunday. The Pats always peak around this time, and this year is no different.
So, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I sat down with myself (BOOM) and thought hard about what I, as a Pats fan, was thankful for here in 2014.
1. A Healthy Gronkowski
I feel awful writing this, because it seems like I’m going to put a hex on big number 87. When Gronk is healthy like this, the Patriots’ offense is an unstoppable force. There is nobody on this planet that can cover Gronkowski 1-on-1, and his production over the last seven games has proven just that.
Consider this: Gronk had a “bad” game on Sunday, and still caught five balls for 78 yards. Keeping Gronkowski healthy is the number one key to winning the Super Bowl for New England (aside from keeping Brady healthy).
So far, so good.
2. Tom Friggin Brady
“He’s washed up!” “Go to Garoppolo!” “It’s time to move on!”
This is Tom Brady. One of the best quarterbacks to ever grace the planet. He is without a doubt the best in the game right now, and I am thankful we get to witness his greatness week in, and week out. I think sometimes we take for granted how good number 12 is, which is why there was such a panic surrounding this team when they got demolished by the Chiefs back in September. His accuracy is still there, his knowledge of the game is still great, and he is moving better than he ever has in the pocket.
As the great Scott Zolak said during New England’s amazing comeback against the Broncos back in 2013, “YOU CAN HAVE YOUR MANNING, I’LL TAKE MY BRADY!”
3. Evil Genius
A lot of fans (including myself), were questioning the ‘GM’ Bill Belichick earlier in the year. After watching Peyton Manning abuse opposing defenses with all the weapons in the world, I thought Belichick was giving Tom Brady the short end of the stick at the end of his illustrious career. But Belichick proved us all wrong once again, as he has put together the most complete roster in the NFL. The defense is one of the best in the league, and the offense is clicking on all cylinders.
Brady has weapons all over the field, including on the other side of the ball, where for the first time in at least 10 years, he has the best secondary in the league on his side.
Thank, you Billy. We all still love you.
4. The Best Secondary In The League
As I just mentioned, the New England Patriots now have the best secondary in the league, which is a big reason why they have won seven in a row, and are the best team in the NFL. After five years of watching the Pats consistently field one of the worst pass defenses, having Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Devin McCourty man the back end is pretty damn awesome to witness.
Even though Tom Brady and the offense have been pretty much perfect over the last seven games, having a defense like this allows them to have an off day and still win. Come playoff time, it’s going to be great to have this secondary to bring against the best teams in the AFC, specifically if New England somehow lost home-field advantage and had to go on the road.
5. Offensive Line
Throughout the Tom Brady-era, the only thing that has disrupted the rhythm of his offense has been a shaky offensive line. From the 2007 Super Bowl, to the 2012 AFC Championship game, to the first four games of this season, that is the only thing on in the world that can derail Tom Brady.
Thankfully, Dave DeGuglielmo and that offensive line has gotten things together as of late, as they have allowed only four sacks over the last seven games. Tom Brady has had all day to throw lately, and against the best defensive fronts in the league at that. This group has proven they can handle whatever is thrown at them, which is great news for the playoffs, where keeping Brady upright is the top priority.
Happy Thanksgiving, Pats fans!