FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- I'm covering the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game today.
It has become something of an annual rite that these two teams meet in the playoffs. They met last year in the title game. They have played six times since 2007 and this will be the third playoff meeting between the teams.
And all that time, the rest of the AFC East that is charged with knocking the Patriots down in the regular season has not been able to do it. The Dolphins did sneak in to win a division title in 2008 in what now seems like a mirage. And believe it or not, the Jets have had the most success unseeding the Pats from their playoff perch.
And still that hasn't been enough.
The primary reason? Let's face it, it's the quarterback. Tom Brady.
I believe as long as Brady is playing for the Patriots, the rest of the AFC East teams will be playing for a wildcard slot because Brady and the Pats are simply too dominant. So when will Brady, 35, go away? When will the door open for the other AFC East teams?
As I write in my column today Tom Brady is not declining. And in comparing him to Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas and others, Brady isn't suffering the ravages of time. Check out which QB I believe he is comparable to as he ages.
If my comparison is correct, it might be 2018 before we're done seeing Brady in New England, folks.
One legend that will be leaving the NFL after this season is Ray Lewis. I appreciate that dude. He is a great player. He is a great leader. However you feel about that long-ago murder charger (later dropped) is not the topic today.
The topic today is whether Lewis gets a chance to go out on top by advancing to the Super Bowl. Or whether he will bow out after this game.
On another matter, I want to share with you a good example of how uncertain things are for the Dolphins these days.
On Saturday, Jackie Long, the wife of Jake Long, tweeted what is a clear statement of how little certainty the Dolphins have given the Dolphins offensive lineman.
"Getting a little tired of not knowing where we'll be next year!" she tweeted. "I don't wanna move but if we have to leave I better start organizing!"
This seems like a sign that the Dolphins are quite willing to let Long walk this offseason if the price is not right on a new deal.