The second news hit that Tom Brady was leaving New England for Tampa Bay, many speculated that his success would not repeat without Bill Belicheck.
After their 24-3 loss to the Rams on Thursday night, the Patriots sit at 6-7 and a longshot for the wild card in the AFC. Brady looks to be on a path to the playoffs again as Belicheck looks to be on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time in over 20 years.
With the Dolphins and the Bills both possessing young, talented rosters, the Patriots and Bill Belicheck seem to look more and more obsolete.
There is no question that the Patriots roster is aging. Considering both the McCourty brothers are 33, Julian Edelman is 34, Cam Newton is 31, and Stephon Gilmore is 30, most of their talent is aging. And when many of the young players they drafter hit their prime, these guys will be out of the league or close to it.
With the Bills and Dolphins both looking strong this year and with so much young talent, it’s hard to say if the Patriots will be able to compete next year. There are definitely holes that need feeling in the roster, but if your the Patriots, do you go full rebuild? Because that hardly seems like the Belicheck way.
Statistically, this is the worst Patriots season under Bill Belicheck, that may be due to the fact that Tom Brady is no longer there, and bringing in a new quarterback like Cam Newton, could cause a learning curve. The Patriots’ struggles haven’t all been on Cam Newton, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he will not be quarterbacking the Patriots next year.
Whether they choose to draft a quarterback, trade for one, or stick with Jarred Stidham is completely up in the air. But if the Patriots plan is to compete next year rather than focus on a complete rebuild, they need weapons on offense.
Cam Newton has five passing touchdowns this year paired with 10 interceptions. Their receiving core is full of unproven young players and running backs forced to split out wide. On defense, the Patriots have been no better. Compared to last year’s lights-out defense, this Patriots is recognizable.
With a secondary that has three starters 30 or older, a revamp is needed. However the Patriots choose to go about their offseason, if they come back in 2021 with the basically same team, things are only going to get worse.
Going to nine super bowls in 20 years is insane. However you put it, six super bowl victories in 20 years is even more unbelievable. The New England Patriots were a dynasty for 20 years. There is no debate for that.
But all good things have to come to an end, and this is a new era of football. How the front office of New England chooses to move forward is a mystery as of now. With the fall of the Patriots seeming immanent, will we see a new dynasty form? Or are the Patriots, in that 20-year run, the best football organization we’ve ever seen?