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Thursday, December 22, 2011
Patriots worthy of Super consideration

By Mike Reiss

ESPN.com AFC East reporter James Walker writes a piece with the headline, "Why Patriots are going the Super Bowl."
Remember six weeks ago when I guaranteed the Patriots will win the AFC East? The statement sparked plenty of doubt and harsh criticism. Simply scan through the comments section of that blog and see for yourself.

Most readers thought this was the year the New York Jets would capture the division. Some even thought the Buffalo Bills had a shot. Well, we've seen how that turned out.

Now it's time to take it a step further. Here is another prediction you can take to the bank: The Patriots (11-3) will represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLVI.

Sorry Steelers, Ravens, Texans, Broncos and Jets fans. This is the year New England runs through the AFC playoffs.

Walker then lists four reasons he feels so strongly about the Patriots:

1. Tom Brady
2. Home-field advantage
3. Hottest team in AFC at right time
4. Motivation after past playoff collapses