Can the Brady-Belichick Era Make it Seven Super Bowl Wins?
With Tom Brady as their quarterback and Bill Belichick as their head coach, the New England Patriots have gone through a hugely successful spell that has seen them contest a total of nine Super Bowls, winning six of them. That ties the Patriots for the most Super Bowl wins of any franchise with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who also have six wins. After successfully making the 2020 NFL playoffs, can the Brady-Belichick era give the Patriots another Super Bowl ring, and make them the most-winning Super Bowl franchise of all time? You certainly wouldn’t put it past them.
This duo are responsible for everything that has happened in New England since the year 2000, and they have both become the envy of pretty much every other franchise around the league. The Pats go into the 2020 playoffs as the third seed, which is unusual territory for them and means they have to play in the first weekend of games, wildcard weekend. It is the norm for them to be the first or second seed, gaining a bye at this stage, so the 2020 Super Bowl will require four wins instead of three if they are to land it.
When the Going Gets Tough, Brady and Belichick Come to Play
When facing adversity over the years, we have seen Tom Brady and Bill Belichick come to the fore and shine, rather than shying away and tamely folding. As third seed here they have to play an additional game, go on the road in the divisional round and more than likely go on the road in the Championship round too, just the kind of adversity this team loves. The reason the Pats are in this position is because of a slip up on the final day of the regular season when they were beaten by the Miami Dolphins. The win was just the fifth of the season for Miami, who have been comprehensively beaten by a number of teams this year, with a 27-24 victory over the Patriots being the highlight of their season.
One thing you can put your money on is Tom Brady and Bill Belichick coming together and using that loss as motivation for the coming week and their game against the Tennessee Titans. The Pats were expected to beat the Dolphins, just like they are expected to beat the Titans, but the players on the roster certainly won’t be thinking like that. Complacency is a very dangerous thing in sport, and the two leaders of this franchise will ensure that it doesn’t set in at all, like it may have done last weekend.
What happened last weekend cost the Patriots the luxury of having a bye this week, so it is not ideal for them, but for the other 11 teams in the playoffs, it could be even worse for them. Right before the action starts, you do not want the Patriots to be unhappy in anyway, or fired up for a reason and this Miami loss has given them that. In a number of different sports all over the world there are people who perform better when they have something to prove and are up against it, and you could argue that Tom Brady thrives off that.
During the Brady-Belichick era we have seen Tom up against it on the field of play on many different occasions, only to pull out a huge play and rescue things, taking the glory in the process. It is this attribute that is one of many which makes him stand out from the crowd, both when compared to other NFL quarterbacks and when compared to sportsmen and women from other sports. It sometimes goes under the radar a little, but Bill Belichick can also be credited for doing this, we have seen him pull out a great call from nowhere exactly when his team needed it, with Brady completing the throw with perfection.
Products of the Brady-Belichick Era
As a successful franchise with a conveyor belt of talent coming through it, it is no surprise to see those progressing through the Patriots go elsewhere and make a success of it. We have seen a number of different coaches from the Patriots learn their trade under Belichick, have success as a Co-Ordinator and then move elsewhere to take a head coaching job with a different team. This shows just how good Belichick is with his staff, and how he brings them through, because so many have gone on to be head coaches themselves, he certainly rubs off on people.
This year, we have a very interesting product of the Brady-Belichick era in the league, and it could possibly bring together a fantastic meeting for us, which could only happen if both teams reached the Super Bowl. The number one seed in the NFC, and favourites to win that conference are the San Francisco 49ers. Their quarterback is Jimmy Garoppolo, who was the backup to Tom Brady for three seasons, learning his trade off the best in the league.
Garoppolo won his only two starts with the Patriots, and developed a little too quickly, meaning that he had to move elsewhere to get game time and there was a long list of teams queueing up to get him on their roster. After his move to the 49ers, Garoppolo won all five games that he started, so he ended 2017 with a 7-0 record as a starting quarterback. An injury prevented him from being involved in 2018 but 2019 has been the year he has been given the chance to shine and we are seeing the product of someone who spends the early part of his career working under Tom Brady and learning as much as possible from him.
Garoppolo led the 49ers to 13 wins this season, which is one more than Brady and the Patriots had during the regular season, showing just how good he has been. As a backup quarterback behind Brady, Garoppolo already had two Super Bowl rings in his collection, but winning one as a starting quarterback is of course a completely different thing. One big positive that Garoppolo has over other quarterbacks who haven’t played in the playoffs is that he has been sat on the bench and surrounded by the atmosphere of a huge game, he knows what it feels like and what preparations need to be done.
He has sat there and watched the greatest quarterback of all time do his thing, and if we get the matchup between these two in the Super Bowl that we all want, then he gets the chance to go out onto the field and beat his mentor. That would give Garoppolo three Super Bowl rings, two in the Brady-Belichick era and one with the 49ers.
Does a 2020 Super Bowl Win Crown Brady & Belichick the Greatest Sporting Duo Ever?
Forget the NFL, because there is little doubt that the Brady-Belichick era has been the best we have ever seen, but what about sport in general? We have seen few head coach/star player relationships such as the one we have seen between these two. They have won six Super Bowl titles together, which is every title that the Patriots have ever won, and as we stand right now, tied for the most ever won by any franchise in the history of the NFL.
There are two things that stand out about their partnership which makes them the greatest sporting duo for me. The first is that their success has all come together, they haven’t won elsewhere on their own before coming together, everything that these two have done in the past has come together as a duo. They have also done it in New England. This isn’t a pairing that has won well and then moved elsewhere for a fresh start to win again, they have kept the same franchise ticking for almost 20 years.
Everything above is impressive, but on top of that it has all been done in a sport that operates a salary cap. This means that no one can dominate by spending more money that the rest of the teams, there is a cap limit that you cannot spend over, and a cap floor that you must spend above.
This is all there to create parity between the teams in the NFL and to make it harder to dominate things. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have dominated for more than a decade now under these circumstances, and it is for that reason that they are the greatest ever sporting duo for me right now, and something that will be cemented further if they manage to land their recorder breaking seventh Super Bowl win in 2020.
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December 31st, 2019 by Simon A
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