After disposing of the Chargers with relative ease yesterday, the Patriots find themselves this Monday in unfamiliar territory. Odds-makers have installed New England as a three-point underdog for this coming Sunday's AFC Championship Game at Kansas City.
However, an **ESPN blog post** says the big performance by rookie RB Sony Michel Sunday versus L.A. bodes well for New England's chances of beating the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium this weekend.
A **Providence Journal** columnist declares that any critic who counts the Patriots out at this point does so at his or her own peril.
QB Tom Brady took umbrage with critics following yesterday's win, but a **WEEI.com** writer isn't one of them. He says Brady can lead the Patriots to another Super Bowl appearance.
In the **Boston Herald**, a beat writer declares that the Patriots D made life miserable for Chargers QB Philip Rivers yesterday, but wonders if they can do the same to NFL MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes this coming weekend in Kansas City.
A **Boston Globe** story states that while many of New England's star players shines against the Chargers, the offensive line deserves its share of credit as well.
Prior to the Chargers game, an NFL Network report indicated that TE Rob Gronkowski is once again considering retiring after this season.
"I'm all-in right now," he told reporters post-game. "We've got the Kansas City Chiefs now. It's going to be another week of preparation, and I haven't thought about anything like that, so just got to go all-in, keep our focus and keep on doing what we've got to do."
An **NBC Sports Boston** writer says if this was Gronk's last home game at Gillette, he went out with a bang.
Another columnist for **The Athletic website** suggests this is an opportune time to take a moment to appreciate what Gronkowski has done throughout his Patriots career.
A **Boston Sports Journal** column explains how Tom Brady, OC Josh McDaniels, and the Patriots offenses relegated another defensive scheme into oblivion.
According to one columnist for the **Eagle-Tribune** (of North Andover, Mass.), the Patriots will need what he calls "Belichick Intervention" to beat Kansas City this weekend.
A **MassLive** blogger offers 10 things he learned from New England's latest playoff win.
**Boston.com** provides five takeaways from the win over L.A.
Stay here on patriots.com throughout this week for all the most comprehensive coverage of the team as it heads for its 15thAFC title tilt.