New England Patriots

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 19: An exterior view shows Allegiant Stadium, the USD 2 billion, 65,000-seat home of the Las Vegas Raiders, west of a marquee at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders will play their first game as Las Vegas' NFL franchise at the glass-domed facility against the New Orleans Saints on September 21, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the league's first "Monday Night Football" broadcast. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Super Bowl is already known as much for the game itself as the circus surrounding it. The parties, the debauchery, and if possible, the gambling. It was inevitable that the Super Bowl and all its trappings would converge in the best possible city for it. We now know that it’s just a couple of years away.

Degenerates unite: Las Vegas is expected to be approved as the new host city for Super Bowl LVIII in 2024. Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Monday that Vegas was chosen, “pending final approval from owners.” We say “new” host city because Las Vegas is replacing New Orleans, which had to postpone because the date (Feb. 11, 2024) conflicts with Mardi Gras festivities. Imagine that party.

But it sounds like the whole thing is being airlifted to Vegas, because Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network said to expect a vote to approve the change. Which means that for anyone who likes a trip to Las Vegas to begin with, or enjoys the pandemonium that comes with the Super Bowl, this is a chance at ultimate paradise. Super Bowl revelers and Vegas is a hookup of proportions not seen since the keymaster and the gatekeeper.

New Orleans will host in 2025, instead. Las Vegas as a host city will follow Glendale, Ariz., which hosts Super Bowl LVII in 2023. We’ll see if Vegas can live up to the inevitable hype.

  • Patriots mostly survive COVID rampage

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 27: American Red Cross employee Darryl Thompson Jr. sanitizes a blood bed during an American Red Cross blood drive to help alleviate a blood supply shortage as a result of the coronavirus pandemic at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The speedway plans to hold a total of four blood drives due to a lack of donated blood and facilities large enough to collect it while observing social distancing guidelines. Many blood drives across the United States have been canceled as a result of the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 27, 2020: American Red Cross employee Darryl Thompson Jr. sanitizes a blood bed during an American Red Cross blood drive to help alleviate a blood supply shortage as a result of the coronavirus pandemic at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Many blood drives across the United States have been canceled as a result of the spread of the virus. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    The NFL reported 37 positive tests for COVID-19 on Monday, a significant spike. For comparison’s sake, the league received 72 positive tests for two weeks combined from Nov. 14-27, according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano.

    However, the Patriots did not figure much into COVID’s sudden rampage. The spread was mostly concentrated to five teams: the Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, and Washington Football Team. Not that the Pats totally survived. They had to place tight end Dalton Keene on the reserve/COVID-19 list. But Keene was already on season-ending injured reserve, making it an inconsequential move from a football standpoint.

    Safety Kyle Dugger and running back J.J. Taylor were the other two most recent Patriots players to land on COVID reserve during the season. It hasn’t affected the Patriots in the standings, where they’ve risen to the top seed in the AFC over the course of a seven-game win streak.

  • Playoff Picture Update

    Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick with quarterback Mac Jones (10) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick with quarterback Mac Jones (10) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

    The Patriots (9-4) are still in the drivers’ seat for the No. 1 seed in the AFC – as long as they keep winning. It’s worth a reminder that the top seed is the only one that gets a bye. Valuable real estate, to say the least.

    New England has the upper hand over the rest of the conference contenders via tiebreakers. They have head-to-head over the Bills, Titans, Chargers, and Browns, and conference record over the Chiefs and Ravens. Their opponent coming off the bye, the Indianapolis Colts, are two games behind them at 7-6.

    This all means that the Patriots just need to keep going on winning, and they’ll pave a road to the Super Bowl that goes through Gillette Stadium. Winning their final four games in a row remains a respectable challenge, with a road date against the talented Colts on deck and the Bills (7-6) coming to Foxborough for a shot at revenge in Week 16. But all four games are in the AFC, so the Pats’ conference-best record (7-1 entering Week 15) would only get better.

    Never mind that the Titans and Chiefs are also 9-4, with the Ravens and Chargers sneaking up at 8-5. So even if the Patriots do run the table, they have to cling to those tiebreakers. If they drop one over the final four weeks, that’ll cause some chaos.