Let’s start with the bad news.
The Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
This a forgone conclusion, like Friday afternoon traffic on the 405 or Jon Snow finishing “Game of Thrones” as the hero. The Patriots won the Super Bowl last season, staging the largest comeback in the game’s history, and this year’s team is better than that one. Resistance, at this point, is futile.
I know, I know. A lot can happen over 16 games. Injuries are inevitable. Julian Edelman is already out for the year. Tom Brady could accidentally eat a tomato and miss half of the season. You never know.
Except, I do. The Patriots offense is just as dynamic now as it was in 2007, when it scored 134 points more than the NFL’s next best offense on its way to a 16-0 regular season. Rob Gronkowski is actually healthy. Brandin Cooks, the team’s new Pro Bowl wideout, has New England fans whispering about a Randy Moss redux.
And it’s not just that. Last year’s Patriot offense, post-Brady suspension, was so good already that we barely talked about how the defense led the NFL in points allowed. The 2016 Patriots gave up five fewer touchdowns (!!) than the NFL’s next best defense, fergodsakes. And that was before it added a Pro Bowl cornerback in the prime of his career (Stephon Gilmore) to the fold.
So, yeah. The Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl, and unless you’re reading this column from New England, chances are you’re not happy about it. Well, neither am I.
This year, more than any other in recent memory, I’ve found it painstakingly difficult to get excited about the NFL season. I’ve toiled the past month to find reasons I should be happy to see the NFL return, after an offseason dominated by headlines about domestic violence and CTE and inane Kaepernick hottakes. The inevitability of another Patriots dynasty is only the rotten cherry on top.
But for the sake of all of you — and for my own sanity, as someone paid to observe and write about the NFL — I will try to find a silver lining. How else will we survive the next four months, as we hurtle toward another Patriots’ Super Bowl run? Better yet … let’s find a few reasons. Just to be safe.
- Aaron Rodgers is awesome. Growing up a Detroit sports fan, I was conditioned from birth to hate the Packers. This is no longer possible. And that’s entirely thanks to Rodgers, who is a joy, in every sense. He is exactly what we demand of a star quarterback….