Chew on these facts for a few moments. Enjoy their taste, let them digest, and fill your stomach with joy...
This is the 7th time in the Brady/Belichick era that the Patriots have made the AFC Championship game. 7 times in 12 years the Patriots have made the NFL's Final Four. And one of those years was 2008, when Brady hardly played a game.
This was Tom Brady's 17th playoff win as a starter. An NFL record.
Over the last 10 years, the Patriots are 100 games above .500 (140-40). So over that span they've averaged 14 wins per season (postseason and regular included), and 10 more wins than losses. Every season. That's absurd.
Now it's time to tone down the optimism and ground ourselves. The Patriots will be facing the Ravens, who beat the Patriots this season. The Pats will be without Rob Gronkowski. And 3 of the Pats' 4 losses this season have come against teams named after birds.
And quite frankly, the Ravens are on a mission. They've won two playoff games already. They are the ONLY team in the NFL to win 2 playoff games. Let that fact sink in for a moment.
Only two teams won road playoff games and Baltimore is one of them. Only one road team won in the Divisional Round, and it was Baltimore. Last year Baltimore came up here in the AFC title game, and now they have a better kicker.
We are spoiled by the elite up here. We expect this team to make the AFC Championship game every year, and they deliver more than 50% of the time. And we expect them to win AFC titles at home. Which they haven't failed to deliver in the reign of Belichick and Brady.
A week from now we may be anticipating yet another Super Bowl. A week from now we may be analyzing a playoff exit, and critiquing players and coaches for mistakes and shortcomings.
But overall, if you take a step back and absorb the last 12 years as a whole, it's absolutely fucking amazing what this team does. Belichick and Brady just win.
Patriots host the Ravens Sunday evening. I can't wait.