Here we go again, sports fans. I can’t believe it.
I can’t believe the Patriots, a 3-5 road team this season, went to Kansas City and beat the Chiefs, 37-31 in overtime on Sunday, for their ninth AFC championship in the 19-year Bill Belichick-Tom Brady Dynasty.
I can’t believe Brady, the 41-year-old quarterback who played his age at times this season, shredded the calendar and played like the wunderkind he was in 2001, when he replaced the injured Drew Bledsoe and led the Patriots to their first Super Bowl championship. Against the Chiefs he completed 30 of his 46 passes for 348 yards and a touchdown. He was never better than during the game-winning, 65-yard, 13-play drive, when he threw two third-and-long ropes to Julian Edelman over the middle and another to Rob Gronkowski.
I can’t believe Gronkowski, broken and banged up most of the season, finally played like GRONK and caught six passes for 79 yards, none bigger than that clutch third-down catch in OT. Well, perhaps his sideline grab of a Brady lob over the shoulder of a Chiefs defender late in the fourth quarter.
I can’t believe the rookie Sony Michel sliced through the KC line for 113 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns, the backup Rex Burkhead ran for 41 yards and two scores, the first that put the Pats ahead, 31-28 late in the fourth, and the second that won the game.
I can’t believe the Patriots offensive line protected Brady from start to finish, did not allow a sack and also opened holes that enabled Michel, Burkhead and James White to rush for 176 yards.
I can’t believe Brady and Company ran 94 plays, exactly twice as many as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, got 36 first down, twice as many as KC’s 18, and had the ball 43 minutes and 59 seconds to KC’s 20:53. Keeping Mahomes and his mates off the field was no doubt part of New England’s game plan; mission accomplished.
I can’t believe the Patriots defense held the potent Chiefs offense to 290 total yards.
I can’t believe James Develin, a defensive end at Brown University but now a fullback and key blocker in the Pats running game, is going to his fourth Super Bowl.
And I can’t believe the rest of the Patriots are going to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams on the 17thanniversary of New England’s victory over the then-St. Louis Rams.
Here we go again, sports fans. Patriots-Rams? Red Sox-Dodgers? Time to roll out that old Celtics-Lakers chant. Beat LA!