The bye week was just what Tom Brady needed.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Brady is as healthy as he's been all season long heading into a playoff matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. Per that report, Brady dealt with an MCL strain this season that he suffered while running a route in a Nov. 11 game against the Tennessee Titans.
"I was on the injury report for I think three or four weeks with a knee, but I've been practicing every day since I came off that, and I feel great," Brady said on WEEI-FM in late December, per Rapoport. "I really do. Everyone has little bumps and bruises."
Brady, 41, was again excellent for the Patriots in 2018, though his numbers didn't quite keep pace with players like Patrick Mahomes, Andrew Luck and Drew Brees this season. Brady threw for 4,355 yards, 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, completing 65.8 percent of his passes, numbers that would represent elite production for most quarterbacks.
The fact that it was viewed as something of a down year for Brady is a testament to how amazing he's continued to play later in his career.
For Brady, this postseason is about chasing his sixth title and adding to his legacy as arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Leading the Pats to a title this year would perhaps be his greatest accomplishment yet, however, given the serious question marks the team has.
Rob Gronkowski is having a down year. The Pats don't have any dynamic weapons on the outside in the wake of Josh Gordon's suspension. The Patriots were just 2-2 to close the season. There's an argument to be made that the Chargers, at least on paper, are the better and more talented team.
But with a healthy Brady under center, the Pats are always a threat.