Unconquerable, unexcelled, unbeatable. Unbowed, unbent, unbroken. After a third Super Bowl championship in four seasons, the world of football could see the pair of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as nothing but the aura of invincibility. Now, 8 years after their last Super Bowl victory and shortly after another playoff loss, leaving New England fans with another feeling of emptiness, it is time to ask the question. What is going wrong?
Since 2007, with Brady as the starting quarterback, the Patriots have averaged 32.6 points per game but in the postseason, they have put up only 24 points per game. After starting 9-0, in the eight years since Brady and Belichick won their first super bowl, they are just 8-7 in the playoffs and 2-4 in AFC championship games and Super Bowls.
Yes there was the David Tyree's improbable catch, yes Wes Welker's drop last year would likely have resulted in a Super Bowl victory, but shouldn't the Patriots be blowing these team out? When you are sporting some of the best offenses of all time shouldn't you be winning easily when holding opponents to 17 and 21 points in the Super Bowl? Shouldn't a team that led the NFL with 34.8 points per game be able to muster more than 13 points against an aging defense? Seriously? One out of four red zone trips converted, 0 points in the second half. C'mon. Terrible performance. They didn't even show up. It was almost like watching the Jets…well let's not go that far.
Brady has not looked his best in the playoffs recently and certainly doesn't appear to be the clutch player he was in his first few seasons. He has thrown 187 touchdowns and 46 picks in the regular season, but 22 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in the postseason since 2007. That is not going to win you a championship.
The postseason magic of Brady – Belichick is gone. Has it been replaced with Dan Marino – Don Shula reincarnated? I hope not but it sure is starting to feel that way.
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