The Double Declining Patriots
The New England Patriots are in a world of hurt, running as fast as they can on the hamster wheel but actually going backwards. Statistics never lie and the stats show that their aged quarterback just can’t get it done anymore. In 2013, his passing yardage, touchdowns and accuracy percentage were way less than in the last few seasons while his interceptions were up. Further evidence that Brady is in decline comes from an article by world-renowned Pro Football Focus writer Sam Monson, in which he states Brady is no longer a top five quarterback. The offensive line is old and getting worse. The defense cannot stay healthy. They haven’t won the Super Bowl in over nine years. They have no healthy tight ends. No pass rush. The lead running back is a fumble machine. The game may have passed the jovial head coach by and the owner is still wearing the same blue shirt with the white collar he has been wearing since the turn of the century. Face it; they are a historical footnote. Just look at their last five years’ win totals; the Patriots only managed to win 12 games last year free-falling from the previous five year totals of 12, 13, 14 and 10. Of course, wins, like points scored ranking and points allowed rankings are ancient statistics and should be scoffed at. Making the conference final in each of the last three years doesn’t matter either. They didn’t win it all so you might as well call them the Jacksonville Patriots. You might say being in the AFCE has masked the team’s deficiencies. Just ignore that their 2013 out of division win percentage of .800 (8-2) was better than their AFCE percentage of .667 (4-2). In the playoffs, things are even more grim. For the past three years, they have only been to one Super Bowl and lost it. In the last two years, they were beaten soundly in the conference finals. Being one of the last for teams standing is humiliating.
For 2014, expect further erosion. Brady will be 37 in August (Peyton Manning is 38 now). The defense lost Talib (and signed Revis and Browner plus Mayo and Wilfork are back from injury as is Kelly). The dropsy rookie receivers are back (with a year under their belt, plus they picked up LeFell). The offensive line is a year older (two starters over 30).