The New England Patriots have established a dynasty unlike any other team in the National Football League over the past 20 years.
However, all great things must come to and end.
For the Patriots, the end means kicking down the door.
We have all seen the numbers: five Super Bowl wins, seven Super Bowl appearances, 12 American Football Conference titles and 15 divisional titles.
Dominance like this in professional football is unheard of. The Patriots got extremely lucky back in 2001 when Drew Bledsoe’s injury made way for an unknown quarterback from the University of Michigan to step onto the field.
The NFL was changed forever.
Tom Brady’s legacy as the best quarterback in football history cannot be mentioned without saying the name Bill Belichick, a strategic genius who always knows the perfect counter to an opponent’s game plan. Bellchick is the peanut butter to Brady’s jelly.
Brady and Belichick hoarded wins, championships and individual honors together, including Most Valuable Player awards for Brady and Coach of the Year honors for Belichick. If you look closely, though, the Patriots’ recent loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII marks the beginning of the end of the dynasty for a number of reasons.
Brady is getting old. According to an opinion written in the Boston Globe, quarterbacks usually peak in their 20’s. If this is correct, that was 20 years ago for Tom Brady. So the likelihood of injuries becoming a factor increases exponentially with each passing week.
Brady has already suffered a major knee injury in 2008 to go along with the normal trauma suffered in the NFL. Seventeen years is a long time to get hit by giant humans trained in the art of sacking quarterbacks. Father Time is still undefeated, no matter how many life-changing TB12 shakes Brady drinks.
Secondly, it seems that the equilibrium established inside the Patriots organization has been thrown out of whack. An infamously private team, the Patriots have only let two scandals distract them from putting the NFL in a sleeper-hold: Deflategate and Spygate.
As reported by Seth Wickersham, Belichick and Brady have been in a silent power struggle for who will be the man taking the credit for their unprecedented triumphs.
The cracks in the relationship show mostly when looking at the Jimmy Garoppolo trade. Brady went over Belichick’s head directly to owner Robert Kraft about trading his successor.
This means that Belichick didn’t want to let go of Garoppolo and Brady was threatened by this. Kraft choosing to side with Brady shows that the tug of war between the two titans has ended in another victory for number 12. Coach Belichick doesn’t get to share this one.
Belichick will run to the green pastures of retirement as soon as Brady stops leading the Patriots to big games in the post-season. Marking the end to a true dynasty, one unlikely to be repeated in our lifetime.