Pats in the Playoffs


Eleanor Quarles

The New England Patriots will be taking the field on Sunday against the Jaguars, with the AFC title and a spot in the Super Bowl on the line. Hollis Brookline Patriots fans are hopeful about their chances for a sixth ring this year. Matt Simco ‘18 said, “I feel really good about the offense and defense; they’re coming together at the right time.”

Eleanor Quarles, Co-Editor in Chief

The Patriots decimated the Titans on Saturday night to advance to the AFC Championship game. They beat Tennessee 35 to 14 at home, with three touchdowns in the second quarter alone. Tom Brady threw for 337 yards and completed two-thirds of his passes, and Danny Amendola had 11 receptions for 112 total yards. Meanwhile, the Pats defense had 8 sacks and held Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota to only two touchdowns for the night.

Hollis Brookline students and teachers felt certain of the victory in the days leading up to the game, with Matt Simco ‘18 saying the game would be an “easy win” and Spanish teacher Alex Basbas going so far as to say, “I love Mariota…but there’s no way his team is going to win.”

As for next weekend’s AFC championship game, students and staff were less than thrilled about the possibility of having to take on the Steelers to make it to the Superbowl. However, with Jacksonville’s upset this past Sunday, it’s hard to know what to expect for the next game. While Simco claimed the Jaguars’ starting quarterback, Blake Bortles, is “the worst quarterback he’s ever seen”, the Jaguars relied on an effective running game and incredible defense to overcome Pittsburgh. The Patriots will have to be careful not to underestimate their opponents, but Brady is football fields ahead of Bortles in terms of skill, and the defense should be able to hold back Jacksonville’s offensive line to get the win at Gillette Stadium.

Despite the Patriots’ success so far in the playoffs, the team has been at the center of multiple controversies over the past few weeks. It seems that both offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia may be leaving the team after this season for head coaching positions with other organizations. In addition, ESPN reported that the details of the trade of backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco ‘49ers during the season caused a feud between head coach Bill Belichick, team owner Robert Kraft, and Tom Brady. However, HB’s Pats fans aren’t believing ESPN’s reported scandal. Jocelyn Lysik ‘18 said that she thinks it’s fake, and even that it might help the team. “Brady does really well under pressure, and with all of the allegations about him and Belichick, he’s probably really angry and he does well in that kind of situation.” Contributing to the abundant skepticism in New England regarding the alleged feud was the joint statement from Brady, Belichick, and Kraft asserting that the theories about the feud are “unsubstantiated, highly exaggerated, or flat out inaccurate” and “we stand united”.

Disregarding the drama surrounding the organization, the players seem to be laser focused on making it to the Super Bowl and leaving with a sixth ring. Patriots fans at the school seem confident that they’ll make it to the big game, but predictions for the opponent have been proven wrong so far. Basbas thought the Falcons would “get into high gear” after underperforming during the regular season and win the NFC title. Lysik and Simco agreed that the Saints would beat the Vikings to make it to the Super Bowl. However, both these teams got knocked out of the playoffs during divisional weekend, with Minnesota beating New Orleans at the literal last second and Atlanta losing to Philadelphia by five points. These close NFC games make it hard to guess who New England might play against if they make it to Super Bowl Sunday.

The Patriots will kick off against the Jaguars at home this Sunday at 3:05PM to play for the AFC championship title and secure a spot in Super Bowl LII. Meanwhile, the Vikings will take the field against Philadelphia at 6:40PM to decide who will top the NFC.