The New England Patriots are looking good for another Super Bowl appearance
Every once in a while a sports team comes up to usher in a new era of unprecedented dominance. The history of professional American sports is full of such examples. Teams like the Boston Celtics (NBA), the Chicago Bulls (NBA), the New York Yankees (MLB), the St. Louis Cardinals (MLB), the Montreal Canadiens (NHL), the Edmonton Oilers (NHL), the Green Bay Packers (NFL) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) all dominated their respected sports at some point in their histories.
The turn of the century marked the arrival of a football team that has now become the most formidable side in the NFL. It is a team that has raised the bar and as a result has become the one to beat in the NFL right now. We are talking about none other than the New England Patriots. The Pats have been a force to be reckoned with and are without a doubt, the most successful football team of the last decade and a half.
The scary thing for their opponents is that they are far from done just yet.
The current season has also been a very successful one for the New England Patriots till now. With two rounds of games to go in the regular season, the Pats stand at 12-2 with their last win coming against the current Super Bowl champions, the Denver Broncos. It was another statement of intent by the Pats and they are looking extremely good this year too.
The Pats juggernaut is hitting its stride at the right time once again and as a result, the New England Patriots are being touted by many as one of the teams to headline Super Bowl LI at the NRG Stadium. The argument has good merit too so let us look at why the New England Patriots remain the team to beat this season as well.
1. The Experience
There is no substitute for experience and the New England Patriots have plenty of it when it comes to postseason and winning championships. No team has epitomized the new era of football better than the Pats and the stats back that up as well. Since 2001, the franchise has gone on to win fourteen AFC East Championships, six AFC titles and of course four Super Bowls. They know how to deliver when the heat is on and this is an advantage that gives them an edge over their rivals.
2. The Belichick/Brady duo
The two biggest constants in the period of dominance for the New England Patriots have been Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Belichick became the Pats’ head coach in 2000 and Brady arrived the same year. The two have worked wonders and have been instrumental in making the New England Patriots the team to beat. They are still performing at the peak of their powers and the knowledge they have of what it takes to climb the top of the ladder will be invaluable.
3. Team before individuals
The New England Patriots entire mantra is based on team before individuals. They always look at the bigger picture. Nobody in the franchise worries too much about individual stats and records. It is all about the team and that is what gets them through tough situations when their star performers don’t fire. Their win against the Denver Broncos perfectly illustrates the point.
Brady had a 2-7 record in Denver and did not have the best of games once again. He went 0 for 6 in the beginning and completed his first pass in the second quarter. He did not even throw for a touchdown. That had happened only once before during the current campaign. The Patriots still ended up winning 16-3 to lay down a huge marker. That resilience showed that there is more to their game than just Brady being Brady. They can win ugly and they can win when their stars are not firing.
The New England Patriots have always had a great offense and well when you have someone like Tom Brady as the QB, that is bound to happen. The team’s offense blew hot and cold last season at times but it is firing on all cylinders this season. The offense is showing more determination, more running and more movement. Their offense is more dynamic this season and that will work in their favor in the playoffs.
5. A point to prove
Nobody from the Pats camp will openly admit it but it certainly looks as if they are out to prove a point this year. They are showing more to their game and look more determined than ever. The reason behind that: Deflategate.
The Pats beat the Colts in the AFC Championship game last season but after that encounter the Pats were accused of tampering with the footballs used in that game. After going back and forth, Brady was handed a suspension of four games starting with the 2016 regular season. The franchise and Brady had to take a lot of flak for that but to this day they still this maintain their innocence.
Now it definitely feels as if the New England Patriots are playing with an “us versus the world” mentality. They want to have the last laugh this season and they look good to do that.
The New England Patriots are looking good to make it to another Super Bowl and rewrite record books once again. This is a title winning machine that is now getting better with each year. The New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins are the two teams they will be facing to close off their regular season campaign. The focus will then shift to postseason and it looks quite likely that the Pats will have home field advantage all throughout.
The last time the New England Patriots lost at the Gillette Stadium, their home turf, during the playoffs was in 2012. So playing the Pats at the Gillette Stadium is not a prospect too many teams will be looking forward to.
The New England Patriots will face plenty of tough tests along the way but that is something they are used to. You don’t win all that they have won since 2001 without having something special about you.