Five Reasons Why The Patriots Will Not Repeat in 2015-16
The Patriots know the window is closing. After so many years at the top of the mountain, the team that has been the most consistent in the NFL since 2001 will at some point stumble and fall off the perch that keeps them atop of 32 teams in a league that has the shortest season.
Maybe that is why the win on Sunday night was more meaningful than the three combined in a four year span for Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Vince Wilfolk – the only three players/coaches who remain from the beginning of this magical carpet ride.
If New England is going to take another run at greatness and grab a ring for the thumb it will be a most difficult task. Only seven franchises have ever won back-to-back titles with the Patriots doing it in 2004 and 2005. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers have done it twice on two occasions.
When Las Vegas released its Super Bowl odds for 2016, it was clear that they believe the Patriots will be in the hunt again, but have given the greatest chance to the Seattle Seahawks, who look to be intact with their key players and a desire to right the biggest wrong in football history.
Based on their opinion, there are only a handful of teams that stand a chance at bringing home Lombardi’s Trophy to their city in 2016.
New England’s run and win may be one of the last times we see a quarterback-coaching combination like Brady and Belichick for some time. The evolution of the NFL has made it difficult for teams to repeat their past performances. Here are five reasons the Patriots may make a run at another Super Bowl appearance, but they will not be able to capture the prize in 2016.
Tom Brady is 37 years old and while he still looks the part of champion and unconquered hero, the body does not move the way it once did. He still makes the plays and manages a game better than 98 percent of the quarterbacks in the NFL, but his steps are slower, his mechanics are not as sharp. As Father Time creeps into the muscles and joints of “Superman” the wear on his body is beginning to show.
I would not be surprised if Seattle as a team get together and uses the interception in the Super Bowl as the momentum for greatness the entire 2016.
Simple things tend to motivate players who want glory. Seattle had this game one and had it not slipped up, this article would be about how the Seahawks could not repeat as champions. The youth movement in the state of Washington is real. And Pete Carroll will have this team focused on winning it all again next season.
Change is a very real event in the NFL, especially now that cap space is vital to the survival of any football team. Players want to get paid and although they may have won a ring in New England, it would appear that money talks more than anything these days.
Right now, the biggest concerns for the Patriots are singing defensive backs Devin McCourty and Darrelle Revis to extensions or new deals. The New England secondary would not be the same if the team lost one or both players to another franchise.
After the Super Bowl, Revis told reporters that it would be a great thing if he could come back and play with the Patriots next season.
The key to a successful season with any team is the lack of injuries to starters and how the team reacts if key players go down for any length of time. The Seahawks had injuries to Bobby Wagner that were apparent when Seattle struggled at 3-3 on the season. Upon his return, the defense lived up to its billing and teams were hard pressed to score on it.
The Patriots dealt with a running back by committee system most of the season for various reasons, but remained a healthy squad for the most part. All teams have injuries, but the better teams survive them.
Should a major injury to Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski or even Chandler Jones cause problems for any extended time, it would be devastating.
OTHERS ON DECK
The Indianapolis Colts figure to have a say in who goes to San Francisco next season for Super Bowl 50. You can count on Pittsburgh being in the mix as long as Ben Roethlisberger is playing at a high level. Teams like Miami with a better defense, Baltimore with its usual suspects and even San Diego all could make some noise in determining who moves on to the big game.
There about seven or eight teams that can make a legitimate run to the post season. New England has to have everything fall into place for it to happen again.