With all respects to Aaron Rodgers, and as much as I am loathe to type this, Tom Brady is still the top QB in the NFL. This guy just continues to churn out big numbers and wins with talent many would consider sub par. Brady has almost singlehandedly made household names out of guys like Wes Welker and now Rob Gronkowski. If he could run the ball like he throws then I would put the Patriots at the top of my SuperBowl contenders on a yearly basis.
As it is, without a running game, I would still keep New England in my top 5.
The Patriots again showed the world why they should be feared on Monday night as they dismantled a hapless and very helpless Kansas City team to the tune of 34-3, and that was only playing three quarters of football (they took the first one off, by the look of it). Granted, playing the Chiefs at the moment, without their starting QB and running back, (both lost to injury) is much akin to clubbing a sleeping, tied-up baby seal, but a win is a win.
The biggest storyline of the game, however, isn't Tom Brady. It also isn't tight end Rob Gronkowski, who caught two Brady touchdown passes, giving him 20 touchdowns in 26 games, surpassing Mike Ditka's mark of 31 for the fewest games needed by a tight end to reach 20 touchdowns. No, the big story of the game is the continued evolution of the Patriots defense into something that could be considered respectable.
New England's D, once the biggest glaring weakness of this team, is fast becoming the rock in which this team could build a SuperBowl run upon. The three points allowed by them is the fewest of the season and their cornerbacks, more specifically Kyle Arrington (who had two interceptions), kept the Kansas City passing game in check all game while creating turnovers. That's a far cry from where this unit was a few weeks ago.
"We try to be a very opportunistic defense," Arrington said, "and when plays like that present themselves, you've got to capitalize on them. And if I can get into the end zone one of these times, that would be good, too."
It is still my belief that the Patriots need to develop a stronger running game if they want to advance deep in the playoffs but with Brady under center and an improving defense, you can't rule them out on any Sunday.
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