Early on this season,the New England Patriots seemed like they were a far cry away from being labeled as a Super Bowl contender. Sure, Tom Brady gives them a chance to win on any given Sunday. But, the choices he had when throwing the ball weren’t exactly top-notch.
Now that he’s got his arsenal back and healthy, Brady has the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman as a few of his more experienced and trustworthy receivers. But, the fact that rookies Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have stepped up this year and shown tremendous poise after going undrafted, this offense seems to be getting better week by week.
Brady and his fully-healthy offense are coming off their toughest test yet on the season as they faced Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos who boasted an even more potent offense in 2013. Though defensively, they’ve had their holes — specifically in defending the run — and could be better as a unit, the Patriots came together on that side of the ball to shut down Denver in the second half and come away with a huge victory.
With the weaknesses that Manning has shown in bigger games, especially in cold weather, and how the Broncos definitely look beatable, the Patriots are gaining momentum heading down the home stretch of the season. Looking at the other AFC threat, the Kansas City Chiefs, they don’t look so tough after losing their top two defensive players this past week and having their defense exposed.
Now that New England is completely healthy and has proven they can win in tough situations, they should be considered a favorite to represent the AFC in the big game more than ever. To begin the season, Manning and the Broncos were all the rave. The Chiefs have been a surprise and for the most part, they’ve been dominant up until the past two weeks. But, now that we’re heading into week 13, momentum appears to be shifting.
The Patriots, behind Brady, can beat anyone on any given day. We know that. But, what we’ve seen lately is that through adversity like last week’s debatable call to end the game and now with a huge comeback win over Denver, is that Brady’s Patriots are able to battle it out and come away victorious. Don’t ever count out a Brady-led team — especially this one.