FOXBOROUGH – The New England Patriots will beat the Tennessee Titans tonight.
And, contrary to most astute NFL Wild Card analysis, it won’t come down to the final play.
You could call that a guarantee, I guess.
And, I get the opposition research in favor of the Tennessee Titans.
They are physical. They have the best running back, a punishing one at that, in the NFL in Derrick Henry. They have slowly gotten better the last few seasons. They have a pretty good quarterback, finally, playing the best football of his career.
And the Patriots “Mike Tyson Fear Factor” just isn’t what it used to be.
But this is not a mid-October game in Nashville. This is a January game in Foxborough.
This is not just a playoff tilt. This is bigger than that. And, quite frankly, the Titans are not to be confused with the Kansas City Chiefs.
They are 9-7. They have been more inconsistent than your New England Patriots. And they are neophytes.
The Patriots, on the other hand, are coming off the most embarrassing regular season home loss at Gillette Stadium, maybe ever.
What we saw last week confounded everyone. The Patriots, including the mastermind of this dynasty, Bill Belichick, laid an egg.
The Patriots have been given an opportunity, before we put this dynasty to bed, to rebound at least one more time.
Tom Brady is in for an awakening. It will be three hours of “Bray-DEE! Bray-DEE!”
Everybody knows what is at stake. Brady is probably done as a Patriot and maybe even a football player.
Every person in that stadium, including 52 teammates, realizes this could be the last time the greatest quarterback that ever lived played before the home fans.
So is the fact that Brady is 143-23 over his career in Foxborough. That is at a rate of 88%.
The Titans are pretty good. And I agree, they probably don’t “fear” the Patriots like many foes have entering the complex off Route 1.
But they are not good enough. Not on this day. No way.
The Patriots Dynasty lives for another week. As for next week? Stay tuned.
You can email Bill Burt at email@example.com.