Praise be to Derrick Henry, glory to his name. Slayer of Evil. Crusher of Massholes. Birthday Badass. Hero of the people.

The evil has been defeated. The dream we dared to dream came to be. The Patriots will not repeat as champions. They will not reach the AFCCG. They won’t even be here next week. They are gone. We are free. The AFC is wide open. Praise be to Derrick Henry.

The Titans proved they belonged in this dance. Normally 6th seeds are sacrifices to the playoff gods but this weekend chaos reigned. The Titans just looked better. They came out stong, ran into some difficulties, but played the long game. Vrabel coached it superbly, his crowning moment being when he used Belichick’s own bullshit against him in the 4th quarter. The Titans exploited a method of running out a lot of clock by committing penalties with over 5 minutes left, which causes a time runoff. They soaked out 1:45 of the 4th quarter between plays. A risky move when you are up by one point and about to punt it back, but it worked. Presumably, Vrabel learned this move from Belichick after he did it against the Jets earlier this year. I love it when Bill finds those stupid loopholes because it’s what makes him brilliant, but I love it even more when a team has the balls to do the same to him.

Derrick Henry is officially the man and now I can’t help but wonder why the hell he hasn’t been doing this before this season. Did Matt LaFleur hate him personally? Derrick Henry is a giant tree trunk of a man and watching him plow into the Patriots was like watching the Ents fuck up Isengard in The Two Towers. It was the man’s birthday and his present was crushing the skulls of the Patriots linebackers who tried to tackle him. Consider me officially a Derrick Henry fan. Derrick Henry fucks.

Big ups to everyone on the Titans, even the damn punter Brett Kern with the absolute coffin of a punt to put the Patriots on the half yard line with 15 seconds left. Ryan Tannehill and AJ Brown didn’t have a great game, but it didn’t matter. This team has been finding ways to win and I love them.

And good riddance to the death star, at least until September. I’m not ready to call this the end yet. This was undoubtedly a bad year by Patriots standards but they’ve risen from the ashes before. I kept expecting the offense to figure it out all season long, but they just…never really did. Many are already speculating on whether this is the end of Tom Brady, even just as a Patriot. I don’t think so. I don’t think he wants to go out on a pick-6 at home in the wildcard round. The thing about having EXTREME COMPETITOR BRAIN is a blindness to the decline of your abilities. This year was Tom’s first year looking like a mortal in a long time and much of it is hard to pinpoint blame for. The skill positions were injured and depleted. The playcalling subpar. The line was a tire fire. The entire offense was the problem. I don’t know how much of it is on Tom being old. We can say one thing for sure though. Tom is no longer good enough to carry the offense by himself, if he ever was. The system failed him this year, and in turn he failed the system. It’s not a good sign for the future.

But I just can’t see him giving it up like that because he’s got COMPETITOR BRAIN and that is a disease of ego. He wants to play. He’s too big a franchise legend to get cut even if Bill probably wants that by now. I think he’ll be back next year, maybe on a shorter deal, and next season will be the true test. Dynasties in sports rarely fall in an instant (Golden State Warriors excepted). They fade slowly. Things begin to crumble. Pieces begin to leave. Success seems just a bit harder and harder. This season certainly felt like the beginning of an end for Tommy Boy. How long that end takes is up to him. I think if he comes back and the Patriots have a similar year next year, that’s probably it. Longer than that at this level of play or worse would probably end in embarrassment. So I will hold off on celebrating the end of the dynasty for now but keep an eye on the team with great interest. Maybe, just maybe, we can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel.

Rooting for a Titans/Vikings Super Bowl, will gladly settle for anything that doesn’t involve the Packers or Seahawks.