If you’ve just awoken from your coma — I say congratulations and might I say, that hospital gown looks fetching on you – the New England Patriots dispatched Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs for the second time this season and are now in their umpteenth Super Bowl, pitted against another up-and-comer, Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams. As in their AFC championship showdown against the Chiefs, Brady is the wizened and wily gunslinger up against another young gun borne from this new generation of quarterbacking talent. As the saying goes, “old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.”
While that may not always be true when it comes to professional sports, it does apply when the old and treacherous one still possesses the elite skills necessary to compete at the highest level, year after nauseating year. The best online sportsbooks, found over at Sportsbook Review, apparently agree as they have installed the Patriots as 2½ to 3 point favorites in Super Bowl LIII on February 3 in Atlanta.
Yes, Tom Terrific did it again and tell me if you’ve seen this movie before. The tall, handsome quarterback who was picked in the sixth-round decades ago with the promise of being nothing more than a journeyman backup, has morphed into a living legend and is getting another bite at the championship apple. Against all odds, he has led his charges back from the brink of defeat to try and slay yet another dragon, looking to vanquish the long-reigning king. Only, it’s not a movie but if it was, you might want to check out Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, where the same day occurs over and over again.
New England has just completed its eighth consecutive trip to the AFC Championship Game and the 13th during Brady’s tenure at the helm of the Patriots’ offense. We might as just call it the Tom Brady invitational. The entire scenario is so implausible it makes the movie Rudy look like a practical guide to getting your little mathlete on the varsity squad of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. Sure, we laud the successes of professional athletes and franchises, but this is like perennially celebrating one of the seven deadly sins – gluttony.
New England was tagged as a slight favorite by the best online sportsbooks, found all over at Sportsbook Review, three times this season with mixed results. Early in the season they traveled to Jacksonville as 1½ point road chalk and fell to the Jags 31-20. Fast forward to October and we see New England defeating the Bears at Soldier Field as 2-point favorites by the score of 38-31. Finally, on December 16, TB12 and the Pats staggered through a lackluster performance when they fell 17-10 in Pittsburgh.
The Rams were favorites in each and every regular season game this season but when they met the Saints in the NFC Championship Game were being dealt by the oddsmakers as 3-point road dogs. Nevertheless, they survived and came out ahead 26-23 to advance to the league’s grandest stage.
There have been 14 Super Bowl matchups where the favorite was anywhere from a 1-3-point favorite in which the chalk covered in seven of those 14 meetings. This will be an intriguing game where the Patriots were left for dead after some very un-Patriot like efforts while the rest of the league was looking to NFC elites such as Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle, Dallas, and yes, the Los Angeles Rams to emerge as the preeminent NFL power.
But the Evil Genius and Tom Terrific are back in it despite the legion of naysayers. Is this the last gasp of the New England dynasty or merely more of the same? Tune in on February 3rd and find out.