Let’s start with an admission. Bill Belichick is was smarter than I am, and he’s smarter with anyone else associated with the NFL. HE’s earned my trust, and he should have earned yours. If he felt that the Pats should not extend themselves at all at the risk of losing the 1 seed, then I’ll trust him.
But I can’t say that I understand his thinking, at least not at the moment. Seems like the Pats should have just busted their hump a little more in either of the past 2 weeks, secure homefield advantage throughout, and then chill the other week. But conservative play calling against both the Jets and Dolphins did the Pats in, and the conservativeness was clearly by choice.
I wrote a little over a month ago about how my biggest fear for the Patriots — other than injures — was having to travel to Denver. Mile High is an incredibly difficult place to play, as the Pats’ season ended there in 2005 and 2013. The last time the Pats won in Denver was against the 2011 Tebow Broncos, and the last time before that was the famous 2003 Monday Night game when Belichick took a safety to gain about 30 yards of field position on a punt.
During the divisional weekend, I will be rooting my ass off for whatever team has to go to Denver and face the Broncos. Yes, I’d love to see Brady end Peyton’s career in his own house. But a Super Bowl is a Super Bowl, and last year felt perfect despite the fact that we were robbed of that Pats-Broncos matchup in the playoffs leading up to Glendale. i’d rather have the Pats face the easiest slate of games through Santa Clara, and they just made their slate significantly more difficult by losing to the Jets and Dolphins.