Tom Brady Leads New England Patriots to Another AFC Championship


Craig Cieplik

The Pats secured the number one overall seed in the American Football Conference with a 14-2 record after what was one of the most memorable seasons in recent memory. This year’s team is especially deep as there are several players at each position that can make big plays. As they move into the playoffs, they not only have a round one bye, but ESPN and Fox Sports cite the Patriots as a Super Bowl favorite.

  As a result of Deflategate, the Patriots defined their team by depth right from the beginning of the season. Because of Tom Brady’s suspension in the first four games of the season, two backup quarterbacks, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, had to fill the void. The team went 3-1 in those games and made the team look like prime Super Bowl contenders even without their star.

  After the future Hall of Fame quarterback returned, he set a single season touchdown to interception ratio record when he finished with a 28 touchdowns to 2 interceptions in 432 passing attempts over the course of the season.

  James Randall, a senior at Walpole High who attends Patriot games on a regular basis, was surprised at how well Brady played coming off the suspension.

  “Missing four NFL games is a big deal, and the fact that he missed that long and has come back to play tremendously really says something about his character,” said Randall.

Once again Brady has thrown together a MVP caliber season and has his team in position to add another trophy to their collection.

  Similarly, despite losing superstar Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett has stepped up as Brady’s go to receiver in the Red Zone to snag a career high seven touchdowns this year. The addition of wide receiver Michael Floyd is also showing dividends after just one game as he scored a touchdown and delivered a huge block clearing the way for a 77 yard Julian Edelman TD.

The Patriots have placed third in average points per game averaging 27.6 points as well as having one of the best defensive units in the NFL.

  New England finished the 2016 regular season as the top ranked defense in the league, something they have not achieved since 2003. Despite losing Pro Bowlers Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones, the depth of the defense has really shown through these tremendous numbers. They also lead the league in tackles made, a statistic which shows that they know how to stop the ball.

  Walpole High senior and Patriots season ticket holder Liam Parquette said, “The team is playing very well considering some of the injuries they have had to battle through, but I’m fully confident we can make it all the way this year.”