What Comes Next For The Patriots?
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last two days then you know that the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl 52. It was a back and forth game with each offense marching down the field and scoring almost every possession. The team whose defense could just make one stop, would be the one to win it all, and unfortunately for Pats fans it was the Eagles defense that caused a fumble. Which lead to the Eagles milking the clock and kicking the field goal. The Patriots then needed a miracle to tie the game, which they did not receive. For the first time since Super Bowl 46, the Patriots were not celebrating in the confetti once it was all said and done. Which leaves us with the question, what now?
Tom Brady will be 41 years old at the start of next season, and realistically I think we only have two years of Brady left. For those you that say that Super Bowl 52 was the beginning of the end for Brady, I disagree completely. He threw for over 500 yards and 3 TDs, with no interceptions. That stat line is insane, and you think that marks the beginning of the end? I just don’t understand the rational thinking behind that. Did he make mistakes this year, yes. Did he sometimes overthrow, underthrow, or make bad decisions, yes. Even knowing all that, there isn’t another QB in the NFL I would take over Brady, even at the age of 41.
It’s also safe to say the Malcolm Butler era has ended for the Patriots. After playing in every single game this season and playing in 98% of the snaps for the defense this year, he was benched for the Super Bowl. Currently at this time we haven’t been given any real answer as to why, which if we are being honest I’m not shocked. Belichick will never tell us the truth, and if we do find out it’s going to come from someone in Butler’s camp. It’s also symbolic that the Butler era in New England began with his game winning interception in SB 49, and now his era is coming to an end with a loss in SB 52.
Next up we have the Gronkowski question, will he retire? After the game last night he mentioned that he would take a few weeks to think things over and evaluate whether or not he would return. It would be a huge loss to the Pats if Gronk retired. It would also be sad because Gronk is arguably the greatest TE of all time, and he is still young. If he were to keep playing he could break so many records and go out on top!
As a diehard Pats fan, it was tough to watch us lose. I’ve seen 3 losses in the Super Bowl in my lifetime, twice to the Giants and now once to the Eagles. This one is the least heartbreaking of the 3 though, and it’s going to a well-deserved team/ fan base. When I think about it though, maybe this loss was good for us. It knocked us off our high horse we’ve been on the past few years, showing us not to take Super Bowl wins for granted.
I will say though, Brady won’t take this loss lightly. Brady is not only obsessed with the game of football, but he is obsessed with winning. He still carries the chip on his shoulder from being drafted with the 199th pick. After losing in the AFC championship game to Peyton Manning and the Broncos two years ago, he had a clock installed in his home gym. The clock counted down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until Super Bowl 51. He will use this loss as fuel, even though he played nearly perfect, to get us back to the Super Bowl next year. As long as Tom Brady is the QB under center for the Pats, everybody else in the NFL should be very afraid.
Written By: John O’Connell
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