New England had a halftime lead and with Tom Brady at quarterback, the Patriots were 67-0 going into the second half with a lead. It all seemed like the game was lining up for New England to go back to the Super Bowl again. The Baltimore Ravens had something to say about that with their second-half rally to send the Patriots home early.
Baltimore deserved to win the game, but New England appeared to self-destruct as well, with dropped passes all over the place which never allowed the Patriots to move the football. New England goes into the offseason with more questions than answers. Will Wes Welker be back? How many years does Brady have left? Could the team have won if Rob Gronkowski was available?
In the end, I believe that Welker will be back in 2013 as his best chance for success is with the Patriots, and he will probably be in line for another 100 catches next season. I believe that Brady has another four or five years left in hi,m and the Patriots will be knocking on the door for the Super Bowl again next season. I think that Gronkowski may have made some difference in causing matchup issues for Baltimore, but the team had been successful late this season without him, so that’s no excuse.
Maybe the first thing that can be done in the off-season is getting Bill Belichick an attitude adjustment and and team him how to deal with a defeat.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.