They're back. Ski masks in hand, hatchets gripped, mercy gene removed. The Patriots are back to destroy, plunder, choke out.
"I don't know if there's a defense that can stop that offense the way it's playing right now," Denver's Champ Bailey told me, speaking of the Patriots.
Bailey would know. He witnessed the Patriots' 45-10 rout in the AFC divisional playoffs first-hand.
The ruthless Patriots are back. And they don't care about balance. About running the ball. Defense? Pfffft. They don't need it. They embrace the one dimension and it works for them. They throw the ball. Throw the ball. Then throw it again. The Patriots are now so back in their element, so deliciously cocky, they had their star quarterback punt the football in a playoff game.