New England Patriots: Powerhouse for Years to Come?


How long can this New England Patriots dynasty last?

It’s no secret that Tom Brady will retire within the next five years, and the world will be left to wonder…what happens to the New England Patriots without their Hall of Fame quarterback? Patriots haters can’t wait for it, hoping the team completely falls apart and ends up in the darkest cellars of the NFL, where they will be irrelevant for years to come. Personally, I wouldn’t bet on things going quite like that.

Yes, Tom Brady is the heart and soul of the team. He elevates them to a completely different level, but there’s more to a team than just one guy. Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman help make the offense difficult to defend for any defense, add a healthy Dion Lewis and the bull that is LeGarrette Blount, and that offense seems like it could drive itself.

With almost all of the aforementioned players hurt, Brady has been struggling to find proper receivers to throw the ball to. As soon as the Patriots lost their first game of the season to the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football, people were writing them off as a team that has finally hit its limit and cannot possibly get to another Superbowl and win it.

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While that remains to be seen, the loss did give Patriots fans a look at Denver backup quarterback Brock Osweiler, and no doubt raised the question of “what do we do when Brady’s gone?”

Enter Jimmy Garoppolo. The second-year quarterback out of Eastern Illinois got a lot of run this past preseason, with Tom Brady’s fate so murky. The organization seems to like what he has to offer, and he put up very good numbers in his preseason outings. While he was typically facing mediocre defenses, Garoppolo was able to demonstrate his accuracy and patience as a young quarterback.

Garoppolo has the tools to become a very good quarterback for the Patriots if they decide to stick with him. The assumption is that Bill Belichick will retire along with Tom Brady, and if offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels isn’t a head coach on another team by then, expect him to take over the duties. However, because McDaniels is such a hot prospect, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia could be a more realistic option.

Lastly, New England is actually a young team and they have a lot of years in front of them. Edelman is only 29,Gronkowski is 26, Dion Lewis is 25 and Blount 28 years old. None of those guys have hit thirty yet, and what’s even more encouraging is the Patriots defense, which is even younger.

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Studs like Jamie Collins, Chandler Jones and Malcolm Butler are all 26 or younger. A good defense is always great for a young quarterback, because it doesn’t put too much pressure on him. Obviously losing arguably the greatest QB of all-time will hurt, but if Garoppolo can play at least at an average level, the Patriots will likely be just fine.