January 29, 2017
It’s the New England Patriots again in the Super Bowl and we all have to sit and watch them. We love our football and must watch the Super Bowl whoever is in it. You will have to pick a side, eat your cocktail wieners and hopefully your football poll numbers cash in. Okay, some of you actually want the Patriots to win and some of you like Tom Brady. I would say a majority of you will pull for Atlanta just because they haven’t won the big one.
Everybody loves a winner, nobody loves a constant winner unless you have a connection. If you are a gambler, you love the Patriots. Now for the rest of us who acknowledge the winning ways of the Pats but are really tired of their greatness, enough already. Tom Brady is great, no brainer, Bill Belichick is great, but the rest of the team is a constant shuffling of pieces. How do they do it? How can two guys keep this team so good for so long.
While throwing away any consideration of luck, statistics and analytics, cast of great players all you have left to consider is a system. The Patriots do have a way if you haven’t noticed by now. The number one thing I can say why they win is that they don’t beat themselves. Rarely do you see them losing the turnover battle or being besieged by mindless penalties. There will be ways to beat them and if you can out hustle, out coach, are healthier, don’t make mistakes, make great plays then you have a chance.
Of course, having a quarterback that is one of best of all time under center is a huge part of the equation. Brady is deadly accurate and audiblizes at the line in a masterful way. On the contrary, he rarely has the same receiver core from season to season and sometimes game to game. They don’t have league leaders in running yardage or the league leaders in receptions. He did have the best tight end in Rob Gronkowski, but he is out for the season.
This year they have the number one rated defense in the league, led by a group of I don’t knows. They will face their biggest challenge of the year against the explosive Atlanta offense. The Patriots defense typically has an approach to most big games as witnessed many times. They try to take away the biggest offensive threat and challenge you to beat them in other ways. Julio Jones is the biggest threat the Falcons have so look for the Patriots to throw a lot of double coverage his way. Fortunate for the Falcons they are talented in the running game and have the high-level play of quarterback Matt Ryan, probably the league MVP.
Back to the winning ways of the Patriots and the big question of how do they do it. I think of it as “way of doing things.” Just like successful companies have a certain business acumen, culture and environment the Patriots have that in place. Players go to New England to be part of that winning culture and sometimes take a cut in pay to do so. I don’t know the Belichick creed per say but it obviously it is a code of excellence that permeates through the team. If you are underperforming due to lack of preparation and hard work, then you will be sent packing. I see the brunt and bland Belichick as a no-nonsense presence and not a warm fuzzy ego builder. If you need constant reinforcement of your worthiness as player then, again, you probably won’t last on his team.
The Patriots machine is here again and will be in the play offs for years to come as long as the system doesn’t break down. When Brady had to sit out four games for the deflated football quagmire, the Patriots won three of those games. The point is, that without Brady, the team is faceless but is more a like a cyborg, they just methodically beat your team. On Super Bowl Sunday it will be your chance to root against the Patriot machine and hopefully your Atlanta squad can rise to highest level to slay them. It won’t be easy but that should make for a memorable game for the ages.