With Aaron Hernandez locked up in jail and Rob Gronkowski having back surgery, it looked like the New England Patriots‘ season was doomed. However, that ended up not being the case as an experienced tandem of Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick showed why they are two of the best NFL masterminds and led the team to the AFC Championship Game.
Overall, the Patriots exceeded expectations and proved their naysayers wrong by reaching the AFC Championship Game. They should feel no shame in losing on the road to arguably the best NFL quarterback in Peyton Manning who is breaking more records than can be kept straight this year. Additionally, in the absence of powerful, skilled tight ends, the Patriots’ running game stepped it up as well as their wide receiving corps. On the other side of the ball, their defense stepped up making it easier for Brady to find success through the air.
After being placed on the PUP list, Gronk came back and contributed to the Patriots’ unexpected success. The Patriots’ season was filled with winning the AFC East, dominating their Divisional Round game and ultimately falling to a high-caliber Denver Broncos squad.
All in all, no one thought the Patriots would be able to thrive and survive without Hernandez and Gronk. Likewise, many thought the Buffalo Bills were going to be the AFC East dark horse division winner, but that was not the case. Brady and the Patriots have showed us why they are one of the league’s best teams. With the odds against them and haters telling them they won’t make the 2014 NFL Playoffs, they did just that and showed why all bets are off as long as Brady and Belichick are working together.
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