Why the Pats could return to being AFC East champions

Belichick will lead Pats to an AFC East title

By: Pat Pitts

The Patriots received a culture shock finishing their season in Week 17, then watched as their former face of the franchise won another Super Bowl. Their 7-9 record ranks as the second worst season Belichick has had in New England. In 2000, the Patriots finished the season 5-11. The next season turned out a bit different. 

History repeats itself. 

If I was asked to summarize the Patriots’ 2020 season, I would not be nice. It was like reading about a tragic car crash in the newspaper. The more you read into it, the worse the incident becomes. 

A new year means a fresh start. Thank you football gods.

The Bills winning the AFC East snapped an 11-year consecutive streak of the Patriots sitting atop of the division. A historic streak that may be in jeopardy by how the Bills looked last season. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs mirrored Brady & Moss in 2007 at times. The Dolphins caught the eyes of fans after barely missing the playoffs behind a rookie QB. It is going to be a competitive division this year, but not for Jets fans. 

Sorry. 

The Patriots will reclaim their throne at the top of the AFC East this season. The Bills and Dolphins have talented, young rosters ready to compete for a Lombardi, but they are missing one thing. A head coach who has won more Super Bowls than both of the franchises combined.

Belichick needs to prove to the football world he can win without Tom Brady. He trails his former QB in that department. This is the year he will even the score and it starts with the division. 

These three reasons are a few of many reasons why they will win their 18th division title in 21 years. 

A rebuilt offense

The 2020 Patriots lacked a lot of things but mainly star power. Cam Newton can play scapegoat, but look who his receivers were. Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd led the team in targets. Belichick knew he had to make an upgrade. 

The signings of Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor are leaps and bounds better than the mediocrity Newton threw to last season. In addition, however, Newton gained two of the league’s top five tight ends in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. As a result, the offense becomes an instant improvement without a down of football played. 

In 2011, the Patriots relied heavily on their two TE system in Gronk and Hernandez. The duo ranked two and three in every major receiving category, targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns. With Newton’s regressing arm, these two will be more significant in the offense than fans realize. 

Defense wins a championship, again. 

Belichick’s championship teams consisted of TB12 and stalwart defense. Guys like Tedy Bruschi, Willie McGinest, and Ty Law were the core of the first dynasty, while Dont’a Hightower, Stephon Gilmore, and the McCourty Bros. carried the torch into the second one. 

Who’s next in line of the throne? 

The Patriots signed a few players to help with their 25th ranked defense against the run. Matt Judon (EDGE), Devon Godchaux (DL), and former Patriot Kyle Van Noy (LB) help the cause with their run-stopping ability and getting to the quarterback. 

They even upgraded their passing defense, signing Jalen Mills and placing a second-round tender on J.C Jackson, who had a breakout season finishing top three in interceptions. Training camp will bring many eyeson who will pick up the torch into the third dynasty era. 

History always repeats itself.

I look at sports a bit differently than most people. Nevertheless, there are patterns within all sports, specifically in certain franchises. The Patriots have a few of these patterns, but one stands out in particular. 

Since 2000, the Patriots have not won the AFC East three times However, the 2000,2002,2008). The season following their failure to capture, they won the division. Two of those three times, they played and won that year’s Super Bowl. 

Yes, it is a bit out there, but history repeats itself. Constantly. 

The New England Patriots are destined to climb back up the mountain, even without Tom Brady. Bill Belichick knows the game better than he knows his own family. He understands how to win and win often. So whether division winners this season. I guarantee it.  

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