The New England Patriots will be competing in their 8th Super Bowl since 2002 next Sunday, February 4th, against the Philadelphia Eagles. This Patriots will try to become the first team to win back to back Super Bowls since the Patriots themselves accomplished this feat in 2004 and 2005. The team that they beat in the Super Bowl in 2005? The Philadelphia Eagles. All signs point towards another Patriots Super Bowl victory. Patriot fans should enjoy the moment, because it may very well be the last time that we see this great dynasty again.
This may be an unpopular opinion, especially when Tom Brady himself has stated that he wants to play until he is 45. Bill Belichick is still the best coach in football, and despite the early season struggles, the Patriots defence is back and better than ever. Also, despite sources saying that owner Robert Kraft, coach Belichick and Brady are feuding with each other, all seems normal in Foxborough.
Do not let that fool you though, this dynasty is slowly falling apart. Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels is leaving for the Indianapolis Colts. Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia is leaving for the Detroit Lions. Tom Brady’s production and deep throwing ability is not what it used to be.
I know what you’re thinking, “Those are minor factors, the Patriots will be fine”. Consider this though: In 2009, Josh McDaniels left the Patriots to become the Head Coach of the Denver Broncos. McDaniels returned to the Patriots for the 2012 season. While McDaniels was away, the Patriots never reached the Super Bowl. In 2012, when McDaniels returned (as an assistant coordinator) the Patriots went 16-0 and made it to the Super Bowl. McDaniels has tailored and offence around an aging Tom Brady that highlights his strengths, and without McDaniels, Tom Brady will struggle to find the same success.
It is true that Bill Belichick is the mastermind behind the Patriots’ defence, but Matt Patricia is the man who calls the plays on gameday. Patricia and Belichick have formed a relationship over the years and work incredibly well together. Without a suitable replacement, the Patriots defence may not be the same. This off-season may be a tumultuous one in Foxborough and the results of this Super Bowl may have a huge impact on the future of this great dynasty. One thing is certain however, the Patriots will not be the same team next year, for better or for worse.