Reimer: Tom Brady and the Patriots are on an 'F-U' tour, and that's why they'll beat the Chiefs

Alex Reimer
January 15, 2019 - 12:36 pm

It’s not a mystery who Tom Brady was referring to when he told CBS’ Tracy Wolfson “everyone thinks we suck” after the Patriots had decimated the Chargers to advance to their eighth straight AFC championship. For the last year, airwaves and column spaces have been filled with speculation and proclamations about the end of the Brady-Belichick era. Brady’s apparent feud with his dour head coach was a non-stop topic from the moment Seth Wickersham’s first expose dropped in November 2017 all the way through OTAs, which TB12 did not attend.

Brady was throwing passes on yachts in Monaco while his most of his teammates were doing squats in the bubble with head trainer Moses Cabrera. Rob Gronkowski, who teased retirement last offseason with “Juicy J” subtweets and bizarre MotorCross press conferences, also did not go to voluntary workouts. 

Oh, and Julian Edelman, one of Brady’s best friends and signature TB12 clients, got suspended for PEDs. 

On top of that, hot take artists have been predicting Brady’s football demise for the last half-decade. Back in 2014, ESPN stats wonk Sam Monson wrote Brady was “no longer a top-5 QB,” and Trent Dilfer infamously declared the “Patriots just aren’t good anymore.”

They’ve been to three Super Bowls since then, and won two of them. 

But that didn’t stop Max Kellerman from salivating over Brady’s impending cliff in July 2016 –– Brady has garnered two Super Bowl appearances, one historic Super Bowl win, three AFC championship appearances and one NFL MVP since then –– or Rob Parker from saying his 505-yard passing performance in Super Bowl LII disqualifies him from being the GOAT.

It might seem foolish that Tom Brady, owner of five Super Bowl rings, husband of Gisele Bundchen and Aston Martin spokesman, would care about what Rob Parker says on a lowly rated FS1 “Crossfire” imitation. Fair enough. But how about Bill Belichick? Belichick drafted Jimmy Garoppolo in April 2014 and talked about Brady's "age and contract situation." 

Once again, Brady has been to three Super Bowls since then, and won two of them. 

It's apparent Brady uses all of the criticism to drive him. He talked about thinking of himself as a perpetual underdog on “Mut & Callahan” Monday.

“I am trying to do what I have always done," he said. "I don’t think it has been any different now at this age than it was when I was in my second year and in the playoffs against the Raiders, Steelers and the Rams. It is a different team. It is different challenges. Again, I love playing the game. That has always been what it has been to me and that has been a real blessing in my life — loving something as much as I do, to work hard at it, to try and be the best I can be for my teammates and for myself and for my family every time I take the field. That is what motivates me every day.”

Brady says he still thinks of himself the same way he did in 2002, when he was walking around the Patriots’ facility with pizza boxes under his arms. Got it.

This a long way of saying the Patriots are on an “F-U” tour, with Brady leading the way. OK, maybe Brady didn’t literally mean people say he sucks. And no, he’s almost certainly not watching “First Take” or listening to WEEI talk shows. But he’s a human being. As he told M&C, the Patriots have TVs throughout Gillette Stadium. He can see chyrons and headlines. 

That’s the intangible X-Factor for the Patriots heading into their AFC championship clash with the Chiefs. New England is 3-5 on the road this year and the Chiefs are an unstoppable force at home. As Andrew Luck found out, even their much-maligned defense can bring pressure at Arrowhead Stadium. It’s one thing to hold off Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on your own turf. The Patriots’ O-line will be combating lots of crowd noise Sunday.

Patrick Mahomes is the most dynamic QB in football and lit up the Patriots for 352 yards and four touchdowns when they met in October. The Pats contained Travis Kelce, but Tyreek Hill burned them for three touchdowns. Even without Kareem Hunt, Kansas City can score in so many ways.

The Chiefs are rightly favored in this one. But anybody who discounts the Patriots apparently didn’t see Brady berating the officials Sunday when they ruled Phillip Dorsett in-bounds at the end of the first half, allowing time to expire. The Patriots were up 35-7, but Brady wanted more. He wasn’t satisfied with just winning; he seemingly wanted to send a message. 

Edelman caught nine passes for 151 yards and bulldozed through several Chargers defenders to get past the first-down sticks on two occasions. Gronkowski blocked like an extra tackle and carried hapless Chargers players on his back for a first down on 3rd-and-4. 

So much for Gronk being a stiff, Rex Ryan.

The Patriots are the greatest dynasty in NFL history. Bill Belichick showed last week he can still intellectually eviscerate lesser coaching staffs with stellar game plans. The Chargers didn't have a prayer. 

Are you really prepared to take Andy Reid and the Chiefs over Brady and Belichick’s Last Stand?