With slow start to 2020 season, is Patriots’ dynasty over?


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Tom Brady represented the New England Patriots for 20 seasons in a hugely successful era in the franchise’s histroy. Now, since he signed with the Bucaneers Bill Belichick is struggling to maintain success without him and the dynasty could be under threat.

For the first time since the 2002 season, the New England Patriots are below .500 heading into week seven. Bill Belichick and the Patriots find themselves in unfamiliar territory as they try and battle their way back into a playoff spot in the loaded American Football Conference (AFC). Although the 2020 season is still young, the Patriots have their work cut out for them. Is it safe to say this is the beginning of the end for the Patriots dynasty?

2020 hasn’t been going too well for the Patriots. After an early exit in the playoffs back in January, the team went on to have a rough offseason. They not only lost their franchise’s best player in Tom Brady, but also lost key defensive players, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton, to free agency. To make matters worse, they had a league-high of eight opt-outs due to the COVID-19 crisis. In early July, things looked like they would turn around when the team announced the signing of 2015 league MVP Cam Newton. 

The signing of Cam Newton filled a big hole in the Patriots offense, but coach Belichick still had work to do. With a shortened offseason and no pre-season games, Belichick would have to put together a whole new offense in nearly impossible circumstances. Despite these circumstances, Belichick and the Patriots came out and looked great in week one against their division rivals Miami Dolphins. Newton had a day himself finishing with a total of 230 yards and two rushing touchdowns. 

Following their week one victory, the Patriots have only gone on to win one more game while losing to the Seahawks, Chiefs, Broncos and, most recently, the 49ers. Many people can look past the Patriots losing to the Chiefs and the Seahawks in a close game, but falling to the Broncos is what’s got people asking if the dynasty is over. I don’t believe the dynasty is over yet, and that’s for several reasons. 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Patriots are short eight players and just lost Tom Brady, who is arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Although every team had to deal with a shorter offseason and no pre-season games, the Patriots can argue that this affected them the most. Having a short offseason with a new quarterback is hard enough, but having a short offseason and creating an entirely new offense for your new quarterback is nearly impossible. Not to mention star players Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore tested positive for COVID-19 and were forced to miss a game. 

Although I believe the dynasty is in danger of ending within the next couple of seasons, I think it’s too soon to say it is already coming to an end. The Patriots’ upcoming schedule features the division-leading Bills twice, the Ravens and a couple of playoff contenders. Depending on if the Patriots can steal a win or two within the coming weeks will let us know if the Patriots’ dynasty is in danger of ending sooner rather than later.