It might be 2021, but Tom Brady's Super Bowl chances are as high as they've ever been. After a slight downtick after his team change, Brady is back to being a shoe-in favorite for February for many. Meanwhile, Mac Jones' Patriots are suddenly on the rise. Will Jones and Brady be the final two quarterbacks alive in the Super Bowl race? Here are the big reasons this could be the case.
Why Mac Jones could be playing Tom Brady for a Lombardi in February
Playoff experience everywhere
Between Jones, Belichick, Brady, and Arians, both teams have plenty of playoff experience at the most important points on the team. Of course, Jones hasn't played in the NFL playoffs, but he has plenty of playoff experience in college to draw from. Both rosters are riddled with playoff experience, so where Brady or Jones falter, their teams can pick them up.
Additionally, with Belichick available to guide Jones through the playoffs, the typical one-and-done playoff scenario may not happen for Jones. Brady's first playoff season with the Patriots was enough to win the Super Bowl, according to Pro Football Reference. Therefore, the same can happen for Jones.
The Chiefs are not as powerful as they have been over the last two years and Tom Brady isn't in the AFC anymore. The AFC-leading Tennessee Titans will be without Derrick Henry for the playoff run, in all likelihood. Julio Jones also isn't the same player anymore.
The AFC doesn't have that one team that is head and shoulders above everyone else. As such, the Patriots have as good of a shot as any to win. With all sides being equal, Belichick could be enough to give the Patriots the edge.
At 6-4 and riding a 5-1 hot streak, the Patriots could still finish with the top record in the AFC. They have yet to play the Bills or Titans, so if they can maintain a 5-1 pace and beat the Bills twice along with the Titans, they could emerge with homefield advantage and a bye.
Meanwhile, the Buccaneers are still in range to steal homefield advantage from the shaky and injury-riddled Packers, Cardinals and Cowboys. At 6-3, even after a meltdown against the Washington Football Team, the Buccaneers can still make a run. Even if they don't, the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl as a Wild Card last season and they can reach it again.