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NFL Open Thread: Oh No Not Again Edition

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What is currently the most likely Super Bowl matchup seems about right for this historical moment:

Imagine a weeklong cross-country bus ride seated between a colicky infant and someone with onion breath shouting along to a Limp Bizkit playlist while the person behind you kicks your seat and the bus engine keeps backfiring. Now imagine that millions of people across the nation are enduring the same experience.

That is what a Super Bowl between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots will feel like.

Quarterback Tom Brady’s Buccaneers and Coach Bill Belichick’s Patriots appear to be on a collision course for Super Bowl LVI. The Patriots have won six consecutive games and seven of their last eight. The Buccaneers are 8-3, and their late-season schedule is a stroll down a red carpet. Football Outsiders calculates a 14.8 percent chance of a Patriots-Buccaneers Super Bowl, the highest probability of any matchup.

Eeee-yow. This is not to say I think it will happen. The AFC has a number of higher-ceiling teams — Chiefs, Ravens, Bills, Chargers, even arguably the Bengals — and a team has to put it together at the right time just once. And the Bucs also face some tough competition, although:

The best bet to beat Brady’s Buccaneers in the N.F.C. playoffs may be the Green Bay Packers (9-3). Yes, the thought of a Brady-Belichick Super Bowl is so chilling that it makes rooting for Aaron Rodgers appealing by comparison.

I can’t agree — if it comes to that this year I would root for Brady over Rodgers, but I won’t feel good about it.

Anyway, we need some comic relief, so let’s turn to this dramatic reading of Brady Tkachuk’s reaction to being bit by Brendan Lemieux (absolutely no relation whatsoever):

The three-syllable pronunciation of “Tkachuk” is even better than the two-syllable one.

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