Essentially the most consequential prime-time divisional recreation in latest reminiscence is over, and the Patriots have
come away with a signature post-Tom Brady victory that may have been onerous to fathom on the
starting of the season.
That is true in a number of methods, after all. We could not fathom that the Patriots may roll into
Buffalo and steal a win of significance over a Tremendous Bowl hopeful after being swept by the Payments in
2020. We additionally could not fathom that they might accomplish that whereas solely throwing three passes towards the
finest run protection within the NFL. Go away it to Invoice Belichick to alter our perspective, each on his personal
workforce and of groups we thought we understood by means of this level within the season.
Because it stands proper now, the playoff image gives some intriguing matchups, together with a rematch of
Buffalo’s early-season Monday Night time Soccer loss to the Titans. Derrick Henry may, possibly,
doubtlessly, change into an element after turning into the primary of three backs (together with Jonathan Taylor
and Damien Harris) to point out that a few of Buffalo’s run credentials had been a bit flimsier than
anticipated. Although, at this level, we aren’t certain whether or not Henry’s rehabilitation from a Jones
fracture will lead him again to the sphere this season, or whether or not the Titans could be inquisitive about
risking his long-term well being by handing him an exhausting workload instantly upon his return.
The season clearly doesn’t finish at this time, however seeing an inter-divisional AFC North matchup within the
opening spherical, in addition to the Chiefs going through a Brandon Staley, Vic Fangio-inspired scheme within the
first spherical could be multiple may ask for having watched the vacillations of a much less proficient
AFC convention all year long.
Over within the NFC—once more, we all know, it could not find yourself wanting like this—getting an opportunity to see the
49ers with a second crack on the Packers with their full-strength operating recreation could be an important
opening-round matchup. Kyle Shanahan is redefining his exterior zone scheme but once more, whereas Matt
LaFleur and Nathaniel Hackett are doing the identical with their rendition of the offense in Inexperienced Bay.
In the meantime, the Tom Brady-Taylor Heinicke rematch we have all been ready for from the 2020-21
playoffs is on the desk. Who says goals cannot come true? In all seriousness, whether or not or not it’s
Washington, Philadelphia, Minnesota or New Orleans, that backside third of the NFC playoff bracket
looks like a significant pitfall for one of many convention’s bluebloods trying to roll by means of en route
to the Tremendous Bowl.
Anyway, here is what the image seems to be like at this very second:
Extra NFL Protection: