In which the participants in one of the greatest games in NFL history meet again on a prime-time stage in late October. In a perfect world — one in which protagonists can achieve cathartic redemption in super-dramatic ways — this will be the moment where Saints cornerback Marcus Williams steps in front of a Kirk Cousins pass intended for Stefon Diggs and takes it to the house for the game-stealing pick-six.
There’s no harder task in modern professional football than closing out the New England Patriots. The Falcons serve as the most prominent example of this truth, but that shouldn’t overshadow what happened last January to the Jaguars. Jacksonville held a 20-10 lead on New England with less than nine minutes to play in the AFC Championship Game, a game in which Tom Brady was playing without Rob Gronkowski, sidelined by a concussion suffered in the first half.
Undaunted, Brady led the Pats back in one of his most underappreciated triumphs. The Jaguars won’t have to wait long for a rematch. I can already hear Tony Romo’s high-pitched squeals of delight.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday Brady hasn’t fully committed to playing during the 2018 campaign, although he granted people who know him believe he will be back for the coming season.
That, along with the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to the Eagles, creates some intrigue surrounding New England that usually doesn’t come until late in the postseason.
Even assuming Brady does play, he will turn 41 years old before the 2018 regular season starts and has shown few signs of slowing, leading the Patriots to three of the last four Super Bowls and winning two. Logic dictates he will eventually reach a point where he is no longer one of the best players in the league, but that time hasn’t come yet.