The NBA Finals are scheduled to begin in less than a week, but pre-game hype has already reached its peak. With so much anticipation and excitement surrounding the series, it’s easy to forget about other important sporting events that happened months ago. Luckily for you basketball fans, this article will help you get your ducks ready by reminding you of what was happening back then!
The New England Patriots, led by rookie quarterback Mac Jones, are far outperforming expectations. That should be the end of the hype. The squad is 8-4 and has a six-game winning run into Monday’s AFC duel with the Buffalo Bills. They are in the heart of the postseason chase. Patriots fans in New England should be pleased with the improvement from last year’s 7-9 record. Instead, they — and some of the local media — may be a little ahead of the curve.
The New England Patriots, led by Mac Jones, are the AFC’s best team.
On November 28, 2021, in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Kendrick Bourne #84 of the New England Patriots celebrates with Mac Jones #10 after Bourne scored a third-quarter touchdown against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. | Getty Images/Billie Weiss
The Patriots would be the top seed in the AFC playoffs if the NFL playoffs ended today. The Patriots didn’t play on Sunday, but when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens, the Pats leapfrogged into first place in an AFC full of mediocrity.
In New England, Jones has been just what the doctor ordered. He’s a capable quarterback who understands the scheme. There’s no glitz or panache here. With a rookie quarterback and a swarming defense, it’s the same old dink-and-dunk offensive strategy that has gotten the job done recently.
If you’ve been listening to Patriots supporters or Boston radio programs recently, the Super Bowl parade may as well be scheduled right now. New England endured its first losing season since 2000 last year, when the Pats finished 7-9, after 20 years and six championships with Tom Brady.
Pats supporters have been pampered by their team’s success. They’re regaining their confidence after a difficult year. Jones has been consistent, but not outstanding, and he’s already being compared to Brady after only 12 games. When he heads to Buffalo on Monday night with a lot on the line, he’ll face his biggest test yet.
If the Patriots beat the Bills on Monday, Lou Merloni, a co-host on Boston radio station WEEI, says it’s time to “get the duck boats ready,” implying a parade is on the way.
Lou, take it easy.
In New England, Mac Jones and the Patriots are being overhyped, while the Bills are being slammed.
Some Boston media members are having a hard time admitting that their team may not be the greatest. Under Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots were the most successful NFL club for 20 years. Fans and members of the media for the Patriots were never shy about letting everyone know. When Brady went on and won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year, it was all taken away from them.
The New England supporter base became silent all of a sudden.
Jones has the squad on a roll and is a major improvement over former MVP Cam Newton. Andy Gresh and Rich Keefe, two additional WEEI hosts, allege the Bills and the Bills Mafia fan base are furious the Patriots have stolen their team’s thunder this year with a revival. The Bills won the AFC East and proceeded to the AFC Championship Game a year ago. The Patriots are back in the division race this year, and the station thinks it’s Bills supporters who are furious.
The situation appears to be reversed.
With both teams’ biggest game of the season only hours away from kickoff, hosts Gresh and Keefe traveled back in time to slam Scott Norwood (or Scott Norwide, as Gresh dubbed him) for a Super Bowl field goal miss 30 years ago. They chastised the Bills for losing four Super Bowls in a row. It was simply a strange way of expressing that the Bills may be better today, but the Patriots have six Super Bowl rings to Buffalo’s none. Pats supporters and some local media are upset that the AFC East is no longer a stroll in the park.
Here are some reasons why Jones and the Patriots are overrated.
The AFC is dominated by mediocre teams. There hasn’t been a single person who has broken away from the group. Three weeks ago, all the discussion in the conference was about the Cincinnati Bengals, who were undefeated. The Tennessee Titans had been there before the Ravens. Now it’s the Patriots’ turn, and Jones seems to be their savior.
After Week 6, where was the Jones/Patriots hype? The club has just lost to the Dallas Cowboys at home, dropping to 2-4. They needed a last-second comeback to beat the Houston Texans the week before.
They’ve won six straight since then, and the Patriots’ gushing has returned.
The winning streak started with a victory against the lowly New York Jets, and then they traveled to Los Angeles and beat the Chargers, a club that has demonstrated they aren’t what we thought they were. That has been New England’s most notable win so far this season.
They then beat a struggling Carolina Panthers club and a Cleveland Browns team that was without its top two running backs. Following a win against the faltering Atlanta Falcons, the Titans defeated them despite the absence of running back Derrick Henry and wide receivers Julio Jones and A.J. Brown.
This isn’t a criticism of the Patriots’ performance in their past six games. They’ve beaten any team that has been placed in front of them. They haven’t exactly been world beaters, but don’t tell that to the hosts and callers of local talk shows.
It hasn’t been any better in Buffalo. New England has suffered humiliating losses to the New York Jets and the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Monday’s home game will be their toughest test yet.
New England is a wonderful place. They’re making progress, but the effects of being spoilt for the last 20 years are evident.
Mac Jones’ blatant rip-off of Tom Brady with his new ‘MJ10’ logo might spell trouble for the Patriots.