Heading into tonights showdown with the Texans, Tom Brady has a career record of 38-5 in December. He's also 12-4 on Monday Night Football. And as impressive as those records are, it's even better when you only consider games played in Foxboro where Bradys a career 22-1 in December and 4-1 on MNF.
Sorta strange that hes played 11 of his 16 Monday Night Football games on the road, no? Yes, yes it is. But that will be irrelevant once the ball goes up tonight. And really, so will the 38-5. So will the 12-4. So will the 22-1 and 4-1. So will anything and everything thats happened up until this point in time.
Truth is, while the Texans and Patriots recent histories could not fall farther apart on the spectrum of NFL success, tonight is about tonight. Tonight is about now. Tonight will tell us more about the present and future of the AFC than any game thats come before it regardless of month, location andor day of the week.
Unless the Patriots lose.
In that case, we'll find ways to justify what happened. We'll discover reasons to believe that the Pats still have a chance; that losing a prime time home game against Houston doesn't mean they can't eventually win a prime time playoff game in Houston. But that will all be speculation. In reality, tonight's outcome will define the rest of the regular season in the AFC.
If the Pats win, this is still their conference. Even if they lose next week to San Francisco. Even if they still have to travel to Houston in the postseason. Even if Denver's still getting better every week. With a win, the Pats will be everyone's pick. As I type, they're already favored to win the Super Bowl. They and the 49ers are both at 4-1, while the Texans and Broncos trail closely at 9-2. With a win, they'll take another leap. They'll be "the best team in the NFL."
A Patriots loss? And Houston is for real. This time, for really real. They'll have passed nearly every test that's been placed before them. They'll head into the playoffs with (most likely) home field advantage to go along with road wins in Denver and New England and a blow out victory over the Ravens. They'll be the favorites. Regardless of the fact that they've never experiences any kind of legitimate playoff success. Regardless of the fact that Matt Schaub has never even started a playoff game.
Unlike his QB counterpart, Schaub hasn't experienced any level of legitimate late-season success. While Brady's a career 38-5 in December, Schaub is 11-15. And as unimpressive as that record is, it's even worse when you only consider games played on the road where Schaub's a career 6-12 in December.
But tonight at 8:30, we'll throw out the past on both sides of the field, as we sit back and watch the future unfold.