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Analysts predicted their demise. Then the Patriots crushed the Chargers.

The Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, 41-28, on Sunday, in an extraordinary all-around energy that propelled Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to their eighth consecutive AFC Championship visual appearance. Nevertheless New England faces the AFC’s most effective typical season group, the Kansas Town Chiefs, following Sunday, the Patriots sign up for the fray self-assured as ever after proving their detractors mistaken in the playoffs’ divisional round.

It experienced, after all, been the very first season the Patriots gained fewer than 12 games because 2010. Tom Brady was actively playing via an MCL sprain via the later portions of the typical season, as’s Ian Rappaport documented. Even right before that injury was confirmed to the general public, Brady’s subpar performances have been famous as possible evidence of his extensive-elusive drop.

Sunday’s get proved Belichick and Brady can still produce when it issues most. As the Patriots appear ahead to Patrick Mahomes and the higher-traveling Kansas Town Chiefs offense, we could possibly as perfectly choose one very last appear back again at what media personalities claimed about the Patriots right before Sunday’s victory.

Stephen A. Smith is no stranger to divisive thoughts. He delivered very last week on ESPN’s First Take when he claimed not only that the Chargers would get, but that he did not rely on the Patriots to get the game. Smith expressed doubt in Julian Edelman, who led Patriots receivers with 151 yards obtained on Sunday, according to ProFootballReference, as perfectly as voicing worries around Rob Gronkowski’s wellness and the late-season decline of extensive receiver Josh Gordon.

Max Kellerman, who appears reverse Smith on First Get, would not be outdone. Kellerman claimed he thinks this season is evidence that Brady’s drop has at last arrived, referencing his studies are down “all across the board.”  Kellerman went as considerably to condition he would somewhat choose any of the remaining AFC quarterbacks in the divisional round – Patrick Mahomes, Andrew Luck, and Philip Rivers – around Tom Brady.

In accordance to ProFootballReference, Brady threw for 343 yards, accomplished 77.27 percent of his 44 pass attempts, and threw one landing on Sunday. This season, Brady has only thrown for additional yards than he did on Sunday as soon as when he threw for 358 against the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 12. Relatively than wander back again his statements Monday morning, Kellerman stood company and insisted that even though Brady did a great occupation foremost the Patriots offense against Los Angeles, he is still in drop and the Chargers neglected to problem him ample.

“Every receiver was open up by ten yards,” Kellerman claimed on First Take Monday. “He [Brady] threw into zero tight windows. He faced zero force.”

The Ringer’s Bill Simmons weighed in Friday on his podcast, declaring that a Patriots decline in the AFC divisional round would mark the finish of the Belichick-Brady era. Simmons did include a shade of nuance, even though he predicted the Patriots would squeak by the Chargers and in the long run eliminate in the AFC Championship game.

“You under no circumstances know the dynasty is heading to finish until finally it finishes,” Simmons claimed. “I think that will be the legacy if the Pats eliminate at house to the Chargers. I think it will be an ass-kicking if they eliminate, and then we’ll arrive out of it and we’ll go, ‘This is over’.”

Just as the Patriots and Chargers took the subject on Sunday afternoon, Pittsburgh radio host Andrew Fillipponi took to Twitter to declare the finish of the Patriots dynasty imminent.

Rob Parker of Fox Sporting activities 1 asserted that Brady “is not the similar Tom Brady from a 12 months in the past,” on his radio present Thursday.

“The problem is they’re dwelling in the past,” Parker claimed, of those people who insist Brady is effective as ever. “They’re seeking at the Tom Brady who did win… did they view this 12 months?”

Even Colton Underwood, present star of ABC’s The Bachelor and briefly a linebacker for the Chargers in 2014, received in on the motion. Underwood claimed on Twitter that Patriots mentor Bill Belichick would have plenty of time to view him on tv after the Chargers conquer the Patriots. Belichick will instead expend this week preparing for the AFC Championship game.

Finally, the Patriots caught some pundits off-guard with their clean-sailing victory around Los Angeles. As the Patriots solution their following foe, the Kansas Town Chiefs, in the convention championship game, time will explain to if common feeling sways New England’s way now, or if Brady and Belichick ought to verify their truly worth to NFL fans as soon as once more.


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