The New England Patriots are the inconvenient truth of the AFC playoff picture

I came to a realization last night as I watched Ravens corner Tavon Young run an Antonio Gates fumble back for a touchdown to seal a Ravens win over the media and BackJudge darling Chargers.

The New England Patriots are going to win the AFC.

All week, the media fawned over Philip Rivers and the Chargers. #17 was anointed the MVP, and Peter Schrager said they were the best team in the NFL. Bottom line for the Chargers is that with losses at home to the Broncos and Ravens, I can’t trust them to win 3 straight playoff games, all on the road, to go to the Super Bowl.

Then they lost to Baltimore where Philip Rivers showed his ugly side. The Ravens on the other hand very well may just win the AFC North and get a home playoff game.

So with that being said, why do I believe the Patriots will win the AFC? The simple answer is that they’re the only team I currently trust. The Patriots have looked worse this year than they ever have. All that means is that they’re still 9-5, and have put up 38 points against the Bears revered defense and also have beaten the Kansas City Chiefs.

While the Chargers were the belle of the ball this week, the Patriots were getting written off. Clay Travis said the dynasty is deadColin Cowheard said their Super Bowl threat is over with the dpearture of Josh Gordon. Both of these dudes are in extreme danger of getting blasted on @OldTakesExposed. I will not be joining them.

Look around the AFC. All of the top contenders have very big question marks.

The Chiefs essentially have a rookie QB. Yes, he may be the MVP of the league, but January football is a different animal. Can Mahomes get it done when the bullets are flying and d-coordinators are emptying the playbook?

The Texans have a QB who also has never played in the playoffs, and that offensive line in Houston is still a concern to me.

The Chargers can’t get their heads on straight. They’re destined for a 5th seed, and I don’t see them winning three straight to make the Super Bowl.

The Steelers did beat the Patriots, but they also lost to the Raiders. They also play New Orleans tonight, and will on the outside looking in if the Colts beat the Giants (likely) and they lose at the Saints (likely).

The Ravens are now the “team nobody wants to see in the AFC playoffs”. The defense is really good. The offense is limited. If they fall behind by 4-7 points in the 4th quarter, the game is likely over.

The Titans aren’t a threat in the AFC if they make the playoffs.

The Colts are frisky, but ultimately a year or two away in my mind from being true contenders.

So that brings us to New England. Yes they have losses to the Lions, Titans, and Dolphins this year. At the end of the day though, it’s Brady and Belichick in the playoffs. They’re right where they want to be. Somehow under the radar despite being the greatest dynasty in NFL history.

Pats/Saints SB.

aklepp 12/23/18

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