New England, Old Habits: The Patriots Dynasty and their Perennial Success

Another year, another trip to the Superbowl for the NFL’s questioned GOAT, Tom Brady. Whether you think Tom is the GOAT is your call, but you cannot deny his excellence when it comes to the game of football. He’s 41, the oldest active player in the NFL not named Adam Vinatieri (Who of course is part of this too), and yet he is going to his ninth Superbowl. Many teams dream of getting to one. He has gone to nine. Do you know who else has gone to nine with the Patriots? Bill Belichick of course. Name a better duo, I’ll wait… No? Right.

While some people think that the Patriots are just Brady and Belichick, they have brought many other different players to their nine Superbowls with them. Names like the Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Vince Wilfork, the aforementioned Adam Vinatieri, even Jets Darrelle Revis came to the Patriots one year and won a ring. This is not just the dominance of Brady and/or the brilliance of Belichick, this is a dynasty that is led by them because it starts with them.

We all know the story:

Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury and a young Tom Brady steps in and never steps out. The first two Superbowls are won thanks to the seemingly immortal leg of Adam Vinatieri with his game-winning field goals, Brady outdueled Donovan McNabb, and then 2007 happened. The perfect season. Everyone knew how good the Patriots have been, but they were at their peak until the final game in the 2006-07 season. A perfect regular season and they could not seal the deal thanks to Eli Manning and the Giants. Did that mean the dynasty was over? Of course not, Brady and Belichick were still kicking.

Well, one of them was, until he went down in the first game of the 2007-08 NFL season.

Tom Brady goes down in game one of the 2007-08 season after tearing both his ACL and MCL. One of the two-headed monsters that led this dynasty is down. Instead of collapsing, Belichick showed why he was one of the best Head Coaches in NFL history by going 11-5 with Matt Cassel. Belichick was able to get the best out of an average quarterback and was a win away from making the postseason. Considering this and 2001-02 is the only season the Patriots did not with the AFC East during the dynasty, it is safe to say the dynasty was still alive and well.

Brady came back and like fine wine only improved with age. He did not win another Superbowl until 2014 when he led the Patriots over the Seahawks in Superbowl XLIX. As I said, he and Belichick are the faces of this dynasty, but neither of them made that last play, it was Malcolm Butler. Then in 2016, Brady orchestrated one of  if not the greatest comebacks in NFL history by turning a 28-3 halftime deficit to a 34-28 overtime win over the 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. He certainly had help as James White dominated on the ground and Julian Edelman had hands of glue on the receiving end, but again, another win for Tom. That 2016 season was something completely different because of deflagate. Brady missed the first four games and the issue of Brady and Belichick butting heads was becoming more and more known to the public.

A New England Patriots fan attends the Super Bowl Experience in Atlanta, Georgia on February 2, 2019. – The New England Patriots will meet the Los Angeles Ram at Super Bowl LIII on February 3rd. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP/ Getty Images)

Despite all of that, they still win. Clutch plays made by Tom Brady but also the people around him; Vinatieri with the field goals, Butler with the interception, White with his touchdowns. He and Belichick just set them up for success. Peyton Manning was an amazing quarterback, but he did not make half of the Superbowls Brady has. The Patriots dynasty is truly a spectacle to behold and they will only look to continue and add on to the franchise’s dominance with a win over the Rams in Superbowl LIII.