2018 AFC Playoffs

NFL Notebook: Despite drama, Brady and 2018 Patriots still have a chance to write memorable final chapter of their story

(Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

In this week’s edition of the NFL Notebook, we bring you a classic Dante Scarnecchia story, offer up a pair of ex-Patriots who could advance through the coaching ranks sooner rather than later, break down how Tom Brady has fared against Kansas City defensive coordinator Bob Sutton over the years, and get some more thoughts from Logan Mankins on playing for Bill Belichick. But first, despite the fact the 2018 Patriots have been working for the better part of the last six months to get to this spot, their legacy is still in the balance heading into Sunday night.

“Our story is still being written, and fortunately, we have an opportunity to write it.” —Brady, 1/4/19

1. That story, which began in the spring, picked up steam in the summer and fall, is now set for a final chapter. The only question is whether the last line will be written Sunday, or in two weeks in Atlanta.

Honestly, the 2018 Patriots have been as compelling a team as I can remember. There have been moments of genuine brilliance — in hindsight, how they managed to pull it all together on the road against the Bears despite injuries to Rob Gronkowski and Sony Michel was impressive, not to mention as well as the home wins over the Chiefs and Chargers. James White, Stephen Gilmore and Trey Flowers have been a flat-out joy to watch this year. From the start of the summer workouts to their playoff performance, that group has played at a consistently high level while simultaneously lifting their teammates.

But they’ve also been