In the “instant history” to today’s media, it’s amazing how quickly people can forget the long-running truths that like just below the surface. Case-in-point is this year’s New England Patriots team: The media has bemoaned the loss of Brady and last year’s high-flying offense, and questioned whether the team could even finish .500.
Eight games later, and it has become clear that this year’s team is not the same team from last year, but the same team from the last seven years, dating back to 2001 and their improbable first Super Bowl victory.
What everyone seems to have forgotten is that this club is not like the “Greatest Show on Turf”, needing to score in bunches and hope the defense holds. This team has always been about ball control offense and solid defense, and that has come back to the surface this year.
Now, let’s not downplay the importance of Tom Brady. Even though this year’s team is 6-3, at the top of the division and on it’s way to the playoffs, they would be a different offense with Brady at the helm. However, it is Belichick and Co.’s structuring of a deep 53-man roster that has allowed the Patriots to survive devastating injuries almost every year and keep on winning.
I’m not saying that the Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl this year, but if we’ve learned anything from the past, it’s far too early to rule them out.