The League

Gene Wang
Fantasy Guru

Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

Super Bowl or Bust

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Tom Brady is the most important player on any team in the NFL. Let's just get that out of the way right now. If you were starting a team from scratch today, he'd be the first player you'd want to sign, even if he is coming off a left knee injury.

Brady's leadership, poise, command of the offense and respect among teammates are indisputable. He's the best quarterback of his generation, and he may retire as the most accomplished of all-time.

There's no reason to think New England won't be right in the thick of the Super Bowl chase with Brady back in the fold. It really doesn't matter which players are around him either.

Brady won his first Super Bowl with Antowain Smith as his tailback and Troy Brown and David Patten as his primary wide receivers. That's not exactly Franco Harris, Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. Brady won his last two Super Bowls without a 1,000-yard wide receiver during the regular season.

Brady has loads of motivation entering this season, and that means New England is especially dangerous. You can bet losing Super Bowl XLII still has Brady seething. The fact he was unable to do anything about it last season served only to compound the misery.

Whether the Patriots advance to the Super Bowl for the fifth time in Brady's career may come down to if they can secure home-field advantage. New England is virtually unbeatable at home during the postseason. The other powerhouses in the AFC, especially Indianapolis, don't want any part of Gillettte Stadium in January.

By Gene Wang  |  May 28, 2009; 2:35 AM ET  | Category:  Mark Maske , New England Patriots , Quarterbacks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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