Raise your hand if you are about sick and tired of the New England Patriots going to the Super Bowl. Well, I’ve got bad news. New England is going back to the Super Bowl again.
Yes, I know there is still one more game to win. But neither the Pittsburgh Steelers nor the Denver Broncos are going to keep Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Rob Gronkowski away from the Big Game. Maybe it’s fitting after all that the Pats will be in Super Bowl 50. They surely have dominated much of the first half decade of Super Bowls from the AFC side. This will be trip number eight? Nine? I’ve lost count.
The Kansas City Chiefs would have been a nice story. They were trying to give the city of Kansas City the World Series/Super Bowl double. The last city to pull that off was Boston in 2004. The Patriots made sure it would stay that way.
Kansas City came in a red hot team with 11 straight wins and a 30-0 blanking of the Houston Texans last week. If there was a team that could keep New England out this year, the Chiefs seemed to be the best shot. But their end of the game clock management left a lot to be desired. They had a pass reception at the Pats five yard line, down by 14 with 2:40 to go and all three timeouts remaining, plus the two-minute warning. An NFL playoff team should be able to do something with this, right?
First the receiver tried to score and was tackled at the one, in bounds, clock running. The Chiefs did not use a timeout, then run the ball up the gut for a two yard loss, then still don’t stop it and the clock runs down to 2:00. By the time the Chiefs put it in the end zone there were three more plays run and the clock read 1:12.
The only option then was an onside kick, which Gronkowski corralled. Game over.
Neither the banged up Steelers nor the Broncos with the aging Peyton Manning at quarterback will be able to take down the Pats next week. So if you are sick of New England in the Super Bowl, find something else to do in three weeks. Maybe you can go see Star Wars if you’ve been putting it off.