Where the Patriots Stand, As Of Today…

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So Christmas has finally closed shop and New Year’s Day is upon us. It’s the final day of 2014 and, by this time tomorrow, only two things can be certain: a.) I’ll have one or two sexually underwhelming Snapchats to explain; and b.) the Patriots will be flooding into Gillette’s practice facility with yet another divisional title.

This season marks the 12th time in 14 years that Big Dick Bill and Co have reprised their role as the AFC East’s custodian and wiped the linoleum with Buffalo, New York, and Miami—a feat that is astonishing when you look at how much the NFL’s landscape fluctuates every year.

And I know what you’re saying: “But Joe, the AFC East is a cakewalk! The Pats are guaranteed six pillow fights a year!” And I get that. I understand that the winning the AFC East is easier than getting accepted into community college. But you know what? The Falcons seemingly got their doors blown off every week this season and finished one win away from hosting a playoff game—and yes, the key word there is “hosting.”

So yeah, I get that winning the East isn’t something to gawk about; however, it’s not like Brady was throwing at JV defenses the entire season. After that circus of a game in Kansas City, the Pats euthanized Denver, Indy, and Detroit. In fact, their only real significant loss came against the Packers and, although it was a marquee game, you can’t expect to waltz out of Lambeau in late November unscathed.

When it’s all said and done, the Pats clinched the No. 1 seed and first-round BYE because they earned it and a lot of the credit goes to the front office. Kraft and his platoon of Jews seemingly spent their offseason snorting 8-balls of pre-workout and throwing together the best NE squad since ’05—and no, I refuse to mention the ’07 team because their defense was held together with duct tape and rubber bands.

Offense

  • Ever since Kansas City buried the Pats in every statistical category imaginable back in September, Brady’s managed to turn a suggested QB controversy into an MVP-caliber season. Plus, it seems like he’s back to actually having fun again. Between the Sideline F-bombs and the telemarketing and the electric Facebook game, Tom just seems to be in a groove this year.
  • I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Edelman is the most versatile football player I’ve ever seen. The guy was drafted as a quarterback, and since then, has lined up at wide receiver, cornerback, and punt-returner. Also, he might be the best-looking guy on a team with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, so there’s that…
  • While I think Edelman is the most versatile football player I’ve ever seen, Gronk is BY FAR the most dominant. Dude’s injury status can shift lines in Vegas like you read about. Also, I don’t care about how he dresses/has the mind of a 7th grader because his football IQ is rock-solid. He’s just one of those guys that shows up to the stadium with a box of Lunchables, plays, and leaves…
  • Jonas Gray must’ve borrowed Amendola’s alarm clock after the Indy game because I don’t think Danny’s made the team bus since coming here.
  • There’s no way in hell that Blount doesn’t smoke weed anymore. Not a chance…

Defense

  • You really can’t appreciate how good Revis is until you watch him play for an entire season. Since Patricia gave up his zone scheme, the dude has literally just been ball-and-chaining guys this season.
  • Browner’s an absolute dog. Guy eats an obnoxious amount of penalties, but sometimes, ringing someone’s bell is worth the 15 yards. That said, you can’t argue with what he’s brought to Gillette from an attitude standpoint.
  • It’s a shame and I hate to say it but Mayo’s luggage is already packed. Hightower has played unbelievable this season
  • Jamie Collins might possibly be the most athletic human on the planet. Speaking of him, what’s the over/under on when Kraft starts wearing grillz?
  • Attempting to date Chandler/Jon Jones’ younger sister might be the single most forthright death wish imaginable.
  • Ninkovich has everything you look for in a prototypical Belichickian player: high football IQ, unreal motor, light skin pigmentation, and the versatility to play in both 3-4 and 4-3 sets. Dude is literally Mike Vrabel reincarnated.