Kansas City Chiefs

Patriots have the NFL's toughest schedule next season

Patriots have the NFL's toughest schedule next season

With or without Tom Brady at quarterback, those traditional complaints about the Patriots having an easy schedule will likely die down a bit next season.

Yes, there's still the AFC East for the Pats to feast on, but based on their opponents' records in 2019, New England has the NFL's toughest schedule in 2020. 

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Patriots opponents had a .537 winning percentage in 2019. Dates and times will be released as usual in mid-April, but the opponents have been known for a while and they include the two Super Bowl teams (the champion Kansas City Chiefs on the road and the runner-up San Francisco 49ers at home) and five other games against teams that made the playoffs (the Buffalo Bills home and away, at the Seattle Seahawks, at the Houston Texans and home vs. the Baltimore Ravens).

The Pats are matched up with the AFC West and NFC West for non-division opponents, which throws some coast-to-coast trips in the mix. It also puts New England's AFC East rivals right up there with the toughest schedules, as well, with the Jets second, the Miami Dolphins third and the Bills the fifth-toughest. 

The team with the easiest schedule next season? It's the one that won the most regular-season games (14) last season and earned the AFC's No. 1 seed in the playoffs: the Baltimore Ravens. Their opponents had a combined .437 winning percentage last season. 

Chiefs credit twist on Bill Belichick mantra for inspiring Super Bowl victory

Chiefs credit twist on Bill Belichick mantra for inspiring Super Bowl victory

In a sense, you can thank Bill Belichick for motivating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV.

The legendary New England Patriots head coach has made the "Do Your Job" mantra famous, emphasizing to his players that they can find success by simply executing their role in the game plan and not trying to "do too much."

But the Kansas City Chiefs apparently have a different take on Belichick's credo.

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In a recent interview with the MMQB's Albert Breer, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo shared Kansas City's new-and-improved version of "Do Your Job:"

Spagnuolo calls it My Job Plus. The idea? You take care of your job first. Then, you can do a little extra.

“I know Bill [Belichick’s] big thing is do your job and all that,” Spagnuolo said late last week. “We believe in doing our job. And then if you can do a little bit more, that’s the plus part of it. And throughout the [Super Bowl], guys did that."

Spagnuolo then credited "My Job Plus" for leading to several key plays in the Chiefs' 31-21 win over the San Francisco 49ers, including defensive end Terrell Suggs sniffing out a Raheem Mostert screen pass to prevent a potential touchdown in the first quarter.

"He did his job by being a contain rusher,” Spagnuolo said of Suggs. "But then he did more than that. He felt the tackle, he just felt the whole O-line, that it wasn’t a true pass play, that it was a screen. He came off, and made a play on the screen."

In reality, there's probably not much difference between "Do Your Job" and "My Job Plus" aside from semantics. Belichick's players aren't robots programed to only fulfill their assignments; he just wants them to stay disciplined and do their job first before trying to make the extra play.

But Spagnuolo -- whose New York Giants defense upset the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII -- saw a motivational opportunity in tweaking Belichick's mantra to get the most out of his defensive unit. And judging by the Chiefs' Super Bowl victory, his ploy worked.

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Does Travis Kelce's Super Bowl celebration rival those of Rob Gronkowski?

Does Travis Kelce's Super Bowl celebration rival those of Rob Gronkowski?

When it comes to celebrating Super Bowl titles, few players, if any, have had better celebrations that Rob Gronkowski.

The former New England Patriots tight end had notoriously great antics at the Patriots' Super Bowl parades. This including a one-handed catch of a beer which he chugged and spiked, as you can see here via Steve Perrault.

Gronk had another similar moment at the 2015 Super Bowl parade. But his best -- or at least the most hilarious -- post-Super Bowl celebration came when he accidently dented the team's 2019 Lombardi Trophy with a baseball at the team's visit to Fenway Park.

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That said, Gronk may now have a rival when it comes to celebrations. And it's another one of the NFL's best tight ends.

After the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, Travis Kelce was seen using the Lombardi Trophy to chug a beer. You can see his method here courtesy of ESPN.

We have to admit that's a pretty slick and clever move by Kelce. But does it reach the same level as Gronk's celebrations? Probably not, as Gronk's were all spontaneous while Kelce's action was pre-planned.

And truth be told, it will be hard for anyone to ever top Gronk denting the Lombardi Trophy. That story just perfectly encapsulates Gronk's fun-loving off-field antics and personality, and the dent will remain a part of the trophy for posterity.