An interesting thought I’ve had recently about the Patriots is how Bill Belichick has been in the situation before, at the start of Tom Brady’s career.
I’ve circled Brady’s stats from the 2001 season when he won his first Super Bowl. Those numbers are rather mediocre for the most part, as he did start 14 games and finished one versus the New York Jets. The game plan was really based off a strong defense and a solid running game to get the team wins. And when a throw needed to be made, they had confidence in Brady to be able to do that.
The teams current situation looks quite similar to the start of the dynasty. The way Belichick can extend it is by recreating history. In the event that Jarrett Stidham takes over as quarterback, Belichick should take a look back at the tape and see what he did to help incorporate Brady into the offense. Another thing is Belichick will have the entire off season to plan this out, whereas the first time with Brady was on the fly due to Drew Bledsoe’s in game injury.
The big piece, assuming that most of the core pieces stay in place, is the running game will really have to step up. It seems like a make or break year for Sony Michel, as they will definitely need him to step up and take some of the pressure off the new QB, in order to prevent the offense from being one dimensional. The team won’t look the same when the season opens, because we have only $1 million in cap, so money will be freed up somehow. If they don’t blow everything up and keep most of the core pieces here in place, it would seem reasonable to expect this team to try to replicate the success of the beginning of the dynasty.
(Originally posted on April 1, 2020)