Moeller: Patriots Prove They Are Still A Viable Contender, Jets Still A Pretender

Just when you thought New England was done..

They are back in the hunt again.

Despite negative reports that began in the spring, the dynasty is still alive.

Remember the alleged Tom Brady-Bill Belichick feud and the rumors of Belichick going to the Giants?

Now, they are fine-tuning toward another postseason run. Thanks to the Philadelphia’s win over Houston last week, the Pats will have most of their playoff games at home.

The 10-5 Patriots will welcome Todd Bowles and the 4-11 Jets to Foxboro Sunday to once again put the bow to their 10th consecutive AFC title and playoff berth, the latter a record.

With their win, they also will set a new record for most undefeated seasons at home since 1970 with seven.

When they beat the Jets Sunday afternoon – Todd Bowles’ final game – the second-seeded Pats can also finish with the top seed if the Chiefs and Chargers both lose their games.

It’s just another brick in the Bill Belichick wall.

The same wall that has separated the Pats and Belichick from the Jets as well as the rest of the league.

With the Jets beginning anew Monday, the wall still will be a tough one to scale.

At least as long as Tom Brady is around.

 Brady was presumed to be slowed and soon finished.

Take a look at his stats and you will change your mind.

Brady has thrown for 4,105 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has a 65.4 completion rate, and a 95.4 passer rating. If there is any concern, Brady has four interceptions over the past four games despite a 65 percent completion rate in December.

Rob Gronkowski also reportedly was finished and sidetracked, and Josh Gordon fell back to his demons.

Didn’t matter.

The Patriots rushed for 273 yards in their victory over Buffalo last week. Rookie first-round pick and 31st overall pick Sony Michel ran for 116 yards and has been the team’s leading rusher.

They uncharacteristically lost five games on the road and dropped consecutive games on two different stretches.

Didn’t matter.

It is just another brick in the Belichick wall

They find the players to fit the system. The Pats are ranked fifth offensively and 21st defensively.

Somehow, they still get it done.

It’s just another brick in the Belichick wall.

You don’t hear about discipline issues on and off the field with the team arguably lead by the best coach of all time.

With Bowles- and Rex Ryan-led teams, discipline was an issue.

Jets’ fans can still fling their mythical daggers at football’s version of the Evil Empire.

They also have some time to dream and scheme before Sam Darnold takes over the AFC East.

The Patriots are still in the hunt and the wall is still there. A sixth Super Bowl is back in their sights.

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About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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