By now, the pure awe that everyone was in watching the New England Patriots come back from an enormous deficit in Super Bowl LI might have subsided a little.
We’ve gone a week without football, and we are starting to miss it dearly already. The 2017-18 season is starting to become the focus for the next few months, and the discussion for Super Bowl LII has already been started. I believe the Patriots are going to win next year’s Super Bowl, as well.
At the beginning of the 2016-17 season, I said that the Patriots were going to win the Super Bowl for the same reason I think they will win the next: there’s no one that can stop them.
Tom Brady is playing some of the best football of his life, and it doesn’t look like he plans to retire at any point either. Brady strikes me as the type of guy who, if not for football, would probably be an entrepreneurial workaholic that wants to keep working until he dies. He’s essentially superhuman and doesn’t seem to be impacted by age.
— NFL Now (@NFLNow) February 13, 2017
Sure, being a 40-year-old that spends every weekend getting pummelled by a bunch of 20-somethings thirsty for knocking down one of the greats doesn’t sound ideal. Granted, it is pretty cool if you’re a 20-year-old rookie sacking one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the NFL.
— theScore (@theScore) February 13, 2017
Realistically, I could see the Patriots slimming down Brady’s playing time occasionally, but with a reserve like Jimmy Garoppolo they would still be a lethal threat. It’s a testament to New England’s recruitment skills that they can boast two great quarterbacks, whereas most NFL teams don’t even have one.
There was also a big component people are overlooking: Rob Gronkowski was out for the Super Bowl. Although he partied like he made the winning catch, Gronk was injured and had to spend it on the sidelines. The 6’6 tight end would have made a significant impact in the first two quarters against the Falcons just based on his size and skill.
— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) February 7, 2017
Bill Belichick also has an unfathomable desire to win. As he was chanting “No Days Off”, I got two ideas. 1. How demanding it is to play for the Patriots? and 2. He’s not joking. Belichick is the best coach in NFL history, and he didn’t get that way by coddling his players. That tends to attract talent with the same vision and pushes them to perform at their best every week.
Bill Belichick, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/Zwd1uatcXG
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) February 6, 2017
Internal strengths aside, who are the Patriots’ biggest threats in the NFL? The Dolphins showed promise last season, but are still nowhere close enough to being a threat to the Patriots in the AFC East. But then what about the AFC as a conference? The Chiefs, Raiders, Steelers and Ravens might be the only contenders, but even they are still nowhere near competing with the Patriots in playoff time.
The Cowboys are the obvious team from the NFC, but watching them self-destruct so early in the playoffs to a flash-in-the-postseason team like Green Bay was not very promising.
Watching the Falcons fall to the Patriots after being so close to winning their first Super Bowl was almost heart-wrenching. The Falcons worked hard all season to prove themselves as being one of the best offenses; how do you imagine the players bouncing back from that with the same intensity as this season?
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) February 10, 2017
As long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are with the Patriots, the probability of them coming up with a repeat victory is undeniable.