Sustained Excellence

The New England Patriots and their nonstop success

Tom Brady celebrates after a completion. Photo Courtesy of: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Tom Brady celebrates after a completion. Photo Courtesy of: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Julian Basena, Editor

As a physically demanding and violent sport, football was not meant for the likes of an otherwise unathletic middle aged man in Tom Brady. Nonetheless, he’s commanded a team of historic prowess in the New England Patriots, a team that has maintained relevance after 20 plus years of consistent success. Brady, along with his brilliant coach Bill Belichick, has led one of the greatest ongoing runs in sports history.

“I think [the success] is fabulous and we should appreciate it more because it won’t happen again,” said Senior and Patriots fan Jason Davis.

When will we see it end? Even after a particularly mediocre season by the likes of Brady’s standards, he still played great as quarterback at the rather old age of 41. The credit goes to Belichick, a defensive minded coach who has been coaching the Patriots since 2000.

“They have a great coach, one of the best ever, and a great quarterback to fit their system,” said Senior Dylan Brice.

Adaption is also how the Patriots have seen success in multiple eras of the sport. Historically, the Patriots have never won by signing the best players or drafting great athletes, but by great schemes and talent evaluation. But some Patriots fans believe there is more to it.

“You need good players as well, so it gets annoying when people call [the Patriots] a system,” said Davis.  

What is often overlooked is the fact that in the past three Super Bowls, the Patriots have been severely outmatched in terms of athleticism, playing teams that are younger and more talented.

Regardless, in 2019, the casual football fan is tired of seeing the Patriots time and time again waltz their way into the Super Bowl. Many NFL fans hate the fact that the Patriots have such sustained excellence. But the hate that the Patriots receive each year brings them more attention at the highest stage–making the bigger games more meaningful.

“Most would say it’s rigged; others don’t; but regardless, they’ve proved to be an outstanding force in the NFL,” stated Senior Prince Achoronye.

Despite the hate, the Patriots are known for being a part of some of the most entertaining and exciting playoff matches. Super Bowls 36 and 38 came down to the final second game winning field goals by Adam Vinatieri against the St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers respectively. Super Bowl 39 saw an attempted comeback by the Philadelphia Eagles that was cut short in the last minutes by a game winning interception. Super Bowl 41 ended with a touchdown pass by the New York Giants with 35 seconds left ending a perfect season by the Patriots (in heartbreaking fashion).

The Giants edged out the Patriots again in Super Bowl 46, as well in the final minutes of the game. Super Bowl 49 ended in a game winning interception on the Seattle Seahawks in the final seconds. Super Bowl 51 saw a 25 point comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in which the Patriots won in overtime. Super Bowl 52 ended with a strip sack and a loss by the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Most recently, Super Bowl 53 ended with only one touchdown scored in a Patriots win.

“I can’t stand seeing them in the Super Bowl every year; I’d like to see different teams make it. But it’s also impressive that they keep going back,” said Brice.

The end of this stretch of greatness will only be decided by time as the ageless quarterback Tom Brady, centerpiece of the Patriots, will soon meet his match in father time. While it may be hard to enjoy watching the Patriots win in such consistent fashion, it is important to consider how many entertaining games the Patriots have been apart of. For true sports fans with the overall goal of being entertained, the Patriots have not failed at keeping the attention of the nation.