Are you ready for some football? The New England Patriots again are heavily favored to win a playoff game at home Sunday and are one step away from another Super Bowl appearance.

Time for a few random football thoughts while waiting for the Pats to kick their next opponent out of the way en route to another February game:

n We’ve spent much of the past few years lamenting the decline of quality teams and players in the NFL. That’s not going to change this week. Tom Brady, Blake Bortles, Nick Foles and Case Keenum are the four quarterbacks left standing. They’ve combined to win five Super Bowls.

Tom Brady has won all five of them.

• We all know Brady is the Greatest of All Time and has been a tremendous playoff performer. But how about the postseason play of James White? White missed the final two games of the regular season with an ankle injury, and returned to score two touchdowns Saturday night. That makes it five TDs in the last two playoff games for White, who found the end zone three times in last year’s Super Bowl victory.

• The Pats are looking to reach their eighth Super Bowl under Coach Bill Belichick. The only two Super Sunday losses of the Belichick Era came at the hands of the Giants, coached by Tom Coughlin. Coughlin is now director of football operations for the Jaguars, still standing after playoff wins over Buffalo and Pittsburgh.

• The Steelers did a lot of trash talking before losing to the Jags 45-42, with some Pittsburgh players even looking ahead to a rematch with the Patriots. When will these teams learn? New England players say nothing to the media, and spend the days leading up to each game discussing how much they respect their next opponent. Then they win. If I’m an NFL coach, Rule 1 in our team handbook is to never discuss any team except the one we’re playing this week.

• The Vikings’ walk-off win over the Saints was one of the most miraculous in football history. After the game, Upton Bell, the former Patriots general manager, suggested to me via Twitter that the “whiff” by New Orleans safety Marcus Williams was a bigger faux pas than the Bill Buckner play in 1986.

C’mon, man. Buckner’s miscue came in the World Series, not the conference semifinals. He was playing for a team that had gone 68 years without a championship. The Saints have been waiting eight long years since last winning it all. Yes, the Sox had another chance to win Game 7 while the Saints are done, but I can’t put this error ahead of one that defined a franchise for 20 years.

• No one enjoyed Saturday’s win by the Eagles more than owner Jeffrey Lurie, who saw his postgame locker room dance go viral. Lurie has Massachusetts ties, growing up in Boston, and attending Clark, Boston University and Brandeis. He was a Patriots season-ticket holder and once tried to buy the team. He once told me as a kid he listened to Red Sox games on the radio and celebrated wildly when the Sox won the World Series in 2004. He didn’t celebrate after the Super Bowl when his Eagles lost to his hometown team, 24-21. Philadelphia hasn’t made it back to the Super Bowl since.

• I didn’t make the playoffs in my fantasy football league. No news there. The news is I’m retiring from fantasy football after nearly 30 years. I started a league while working at WGME in the late 1980s, using a printed sheet for scoring and The Sporting News for official stats. The internet made fantasy football much easier and more enjoyable.

Trouble is, I played fantasy football (as opposed to other sports) because it was a one-game weekly commitment. Set your lineup for Sunday, watch the Monday night game and see if you won. Now there’s a Thursday night game and three starting times every Sunday. Not to mention a few Sunday morning starts in Europe. Late in the season with Saturday games, there are more days with NFL games than without. Game day is still special for the fans of a team. There are just too many of them league-wide to keep track.

Tom Caron is a studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.