Yes, I think if there’s one thing 2007 cemented in my head it’s that the season is about a progression to playing your best football in January and February. That doesn’t mean I subscribe to the false notion of “peaking at the right time”. It’s not like every team that wins the Super Bowl went undefeated after Thanksgiving.
So how do you get to play your best football in January and February? You need to get exposed and then evolve. You need to get hit with adversity. And lastly, you must develop a clutch touch. No idea how you manufacture that last one, but that’s probably the most important.
So yes, playing good teams certainly helps, but more than anything it’s about playing in good games, and having your back against the wall as much as possible.
Regardless of what tonight’s result is this game will be a long term benefit to the Patriots. Though if they end up having to play an extra playoff game that certainly makes things a little more difficult.