Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports

Delight in all the crow eaten by national pundits who predicted Patriots' downfall

Evan Marinofsky
January 13, 2019 - 10:55 pm

Don't worry, guys. There's plenty of crow to go around.

After the New England Patriots throttled the Los Angeles Chargers, 41-28, on Sunday, it marked the end of a very rough weekend for the national media. The ones who all week preached the Chargers' superiority, Tom Brady's demise, and the end of the Patriots dynasty will be fishing for excuses for their cold takes.

Let's start with Max Kellerman — the most notorious of the bunch. This was what Kellerman said earlier this week.

"I'll say this: of the remaining quarterbacks in the AFC, [Brady] is dead last," said Kellerman. "I'd rather have Philip Rivers. I'd rather have Patrick Mahomes. I'd rather have Andrew Luck right now over Tom Brady."

Brady finished with the highest rating of all QBs this weekend at 106.5. Luck was a puddle, Rivers was not ready for primetime, and Mahomes was nowhere near the level of TB12 this weekend.

Nevertheless, swing-and-miss Max was trolling hard during the game, giving all credit to Bill Belichick.

Stephen A. Smith also finds himself wrong after Sunday's outcome at Gillette.

"I'm going with the Chargers in this particular game for a bevy of reasons," said Smith. "Number one: I don't trust the New England Patriots from what I'm seeing. They're a top-five offense, I think fourth in points. They a top-seven defense overall, but they bend a lot. Twenty-first in yards allowed, 22 against the pass and the health of Rob Gronkowski. He says he's ready, I'm not sure. Julian Edelman doesn't look the same, he's been a rollercoaster ride since the four-game suspension."

The offense put up 35 points in the first half and the defense only "bent" once the game was out of LA's reach. Edelman had nine receptions for 151 yards and was Brady's target of choice. And then finally, though only with one reception on the day, Gronkowski was a driving force behind the Patriots' success in the run game with his blocking.

Earlier this month, Colin Cowherd picked Luck over Brady in his "quarterback face game." He even had Luck beating New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees in the Super Bowl.

Fox Sports 1's Nick Wright predicted this Patriots-Chargers game to be the ultimate end to everything.

"I think this weekend, this game most notably, is going to be looked at as the game we circle as 'oh, that was when this dynastic Brady-Belichick run ended'," opined Wright. "A home loss in their first playoff game, against a team that's never beat them, in the worst year Brady's had in a decade and the worst year this Pats team has had in a decade."

Noted anti-Patriots analyst Shannon Sharpe picked the Chargers to beat the Patriots because they are "the better team." He went on to predict that Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, both defensive ends for the Chargers, would create a pass-rush good enough to stymie the Patriots offense.

Obviously that didn't happen.

Earlier this week, Sharpe also came under fire for criticizing Brady's comments to Mut & Callahan that he was up "all night" watching game film.

And now for the grand finale, there's Rob Parker. Like Kellerman, Parker has become synonymous with anti-Patriots rhetoric over the past few years.

To no one's surprise, Parker picked the Chargers.

"Of course the Chargers are going to win this, 24-17 and I say of course because of what they do when they go on the road," said Parker.

He went on to give more reasoning for his pick and per usual, found a way to take a dig at Brady.

"I want to talk body of work this year," he said. "For Tom Brady, his body of work this year, everybody can fudge the numbers and talk about it but this is not the same Tom Brady of a year ago when he was in the Super Bowl.

"Tom Brady used to be the greatest makeup in the NFL — cover up all the warts. The New England Patriots are the wicked witch of the west. Warts and all, Tom Brady will not be able to cover them this time."

During the game, Parker was salty as ever.

"Pats winning without Brady. Be honest. Thank God for the running game. Brady will finish with one TD and 250 yards. #hardlyimpressive"

Brady finished the game 34-for-44 with 343 yards passing and a touchdown. Parker was off by almost 100 yards.