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Is the Super Bowl Loss the End of the Patriots Dynasty?

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Matt Patricia has kept the Patriots defense consistently good since 2012 (photo via MLive.com)

Under Brady and Belichick, the Patriots have lost three Super Bowls. After the first two losses, the Patriots were still among the top teams in the league, finishing with 11 and 12 win seasons in 2009 and 2012, respectively. After this most recent Super Bowl loss, the famously consistent Patriots dynasty will finally have to face uncertainty. The uncertainty isn’t so much Brady as it is all of the pieces around him falling apart. On Sunday, Brady became the first quarterback to lose any game while throwing for 500-plus yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He’s still very good, but he can’t win a Super Bowl by himself next year.

Arguably the biggest hurdle for the Patriots will be a new coaching staff after the departure of defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. Patricia will be HC of the Lions next year. Despite allowing backup QB Nick Foles to throw for 373 yards and three touchdowns, Patricia had the Patriots defense allowing only 18.5 points per game (fifth best in the league) even without star LB Dont’a Hightower. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was going to be the Colts coach next year, but announced on Tuesday that he will be staying with the Patriots. McDaniels’ offense finished first in the NFL in yards per game (394.2) and tied for second in points per game (28.6). Continuity is the most important thing for an offense and a quarterback, so McDaniels remaining will be crucial for next year. Patriots fan Thomas Flaherty said “if we lost Patricia and McDaniels this offseason, then we would have barely made the playoffs.” In the past, the Patriots have kept marching through coaching changes, but when paired with other looming question marks, the Patriots look more and more likely to collapse.

A 165 pound man would die if he drank as much water as Tom Brady drinks (photo via SI.com)

Brady did throw for 505 yards in the Super Bowl, but age catches everyone eventually. His diet of avocados, tomatoes, and over two gallons of water each day has delayed the effects of aging so far, but at any point, Brady could suffer a catastrophic drop similar to Peyton Manning’s drop from 2014-2015. As he ages, he will have to start relying more on his offensive weapons, which could be a problem if he loses all of them.

The Patriots only have $19.3 million in cap space, which is under half of the league average of $39 million. They’ll probably lose some of their key free agents, which include CB Malcolm Butler, LT Nate Solder, WR Danny Amendola, RB Dion Lewis, and RB Rex Burkhead. If you add the slight chance that Brady’s biggest weapon, TE Rob Gronkowski, retires from the NFL, then Brady’s going to show the signs of aging much sooner.

Patriots fan Darius Vahabzadeh said “Gronkowski will not retire, the Patriots will be right back in the Super Bowl next year.” Giants fan John Goldszer disagrees, he said “the Patriots dynasty is coming to an end right now, their defense is too bad to be a great team.” Jets fan Sloan Martin said “The Jets are signing Kirk Cousins and are going to win the division next year, even if the Patriots get the wild card, the Jets will beat them in the playoffs.”

The Patriots probably won’t be bad next year. After all, they are by far the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl next year. However, the Patriots era will come to an end eventually, and it could definitely be coming sooner than expected.

 

 

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Is the Super Bowl Loss the End of the Patriots Dynasty?