For the longest time, Tom Brady was the New England Patriots. This man helped the Pats win SIX Super Bowls in his near 20-year career with the franchise, winning Super Bowl MVP in 4 of those 6 wins.
But, for the first time in the “post-Brady era” the Pats have failed to make the playoffs. While it wasn’t always smooth sailing with Tom Brady in the lineup, him being there often brought out the best in those around him. But now they don’t have that talisman, fans will be wondering if this is the start of a downward spiral.
The last time Brady played in the playoffs for the Pats, they lost 20-13 at home to the Tennessee Titans, which isn’t a great result at all really is it? The Titans have had maybe one good run in the playoffs since 2000. It isn’t all doom and gloom however since the Pats did make the Playoffs in 2021, however, they did get absolutely battered by this season's favorites to lift the Lombardi, the Buffalo Bills. They traveled to Buffalo and came home with their tails tucked firmly between their legs after getting trounced 47-17, ouch.
Among the fanbase there is a lot of buzz around needing a lot of change, meaning that the Pats could have quite a busy offseason. In the eyes of many fans, the first thing that needs to change is for the Pats to look around the market for a new quarterback. It isn’t that Mac Jones is necessarily a bad quarterback by any stretch of the imagination, the issue you have with Mac Jones is that when he’s bad, he’s very bad but when he’s good? His performances can be incredible. Unfortunately, you can’t really win championships like that, as they always say, consistency is key. If the Pats could pick up someone a little bit more consistent to complement Jones then they could be ready for that next step up.
Another thing the Pats really need to address is that they have a serious lack of a true playmaker in the wide receiver position. The offense wasn’t quite at the level Pats fans have come to expect, given they really don’t have a threat there. Since Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers are both set to be free agents at the end of the season also, with Meyers being quite a big priority for signing a new contract in the eyes of many. But realistically, the Pats do need a big-name WR. Recently it came out that DeAndre Hopkins of the Cardinals could be available for trade, that could be a great pick for the Pats.
Although the 2022-23 season has come to an end for the Pats, missing out on the playoffs by just a single win, losing to the Bills on the final day of the regular season, getting pipped to the post by the Miami Dolphins who won their game against the Jets to claim the spot in the Wild Card round.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s all over, now Pats fans get to kick their feet up, have a beer and enjoy the misery of others in this postseason. Let’s take a look at how the experts think some of these games are going to go. The first game pats fans got to watch was the Wild Card round game between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins, their rivals from the AFC East division. The Bills, who are considered one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl, ended up taking the win.
The Patriots may not have made it to the playoffs this year, but fans in Massachusetts can still look forward to the excitement of the Super Bowl this year. With the state launching retail sports betting by the end of January, fans will have the opportunity to place bets on their favorite teams, but that’s not where the celebration in Massachusetts ends. By the beginning of March, residents will have access to online sports betting, providing an opportunity for Patriots fans to potentially place bets on the team's performance in future Super Bowls, as well as benefit from various new sportsbook sign-up bonuses in Massachusetts.
So Pats fans, while you may not have made the playoffs this season, how do you think the team is progressing post Tom Brady? Losing a talisman-like Brady leaves massive shoes to fill for any team, but it isn’t the end of the world right? There is still a lot to offer in this Pats roster and with the right guidance for the offensive end they could get back to their best in 2023. With the end of the season fast approaching, however, this may not stay true, depending on which players come and go in the off-season.
I suppose if there are any positives to come out of this season, it’s that now Pats fans get to put their feet up and enjoy the playoffs as a neutral, and with this, the coaching staff are also able to get to work right now putting a plan into place for the 2023 season, as opposed to trying to soldier on into a postseason the team clearly isn’t ready for. One or two additions and a different approach to offensive coordination and we could be looking at a deep playoff run, if not more, for the 2023-24 season. Keep those heads up Pats fans, it isn’t all doom and gloom! Until next time, take care!