New England Patriots: Why They Will Not Win Super Bowl XLV
Sitting on top of the AFC East, with the inside track to home-field advantage in the AFC Playoff, and having the combination of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick leading the team, it is hard to imagine why the New England Patriots will not win Super Bowl XLV.
The Patriots are in the process of running through their AFC Playoff competition, having already defeated the Jets, Steelers, Ravens, Colts and Chargers. And the rest of their schedule holds the injured Packers, the lowly Bills and the hapless Dolphins.
However, the NFL is not as simple as what you have done in the past, it is about what you can do in the playoffs.
Here are my eight reasons as to why the Patriots will not win Super Bowl XLV.
WHAT?!?! How can you use Tom Brady as a reason the Patriots will lose?
There is no question that Tom Brady is not only one of the best QB's playing today, but will be one of the best to ever play the game. Tom Brady is being asked to, and is doing, is leading a team that is not as good as their record.
Be honest, what would the Patriots record be if Tom Brady was not playing?
As great as Brady is, come playoff time, other people are going to have to step up and take the pressure off of Brady.
Will they be able to?
Inexperience In The Secondary
The Patriots secondary is ranked 31st in the NFL against the pass. Second to last. Only the Houston Texans are worse, and that is by 21 yards.
Once the playoffs start, teams are playing like there is no tomorrow, because, frankly, there is no tomorrow.
The Patriots secondary is going to have to step up if they want to have a chance in the playoffs.
The Patriots running game has not been necessary up to this point this year. Again, because of the ability of Tom Brady. Once the playoffs start, then Ellis and the rest of the Patriots running game is going to have to start to carry some of the load.
The AFC Top Seeds Do Not Win The Super Bowl.
If you are the top seed in the AFC Playoffs, odds are, you aren't going to win the Super Bowl.
2009 - Indianapolis Colts - Lost to Saints in Super Bowl
2008 - Tennessee Titans - Lost to Ravens in Divisional Round
2007 - New England Patriots - Undefeated, and lost the Super Bowl.
2006 - San Diego Chargers - Lost Divisional Round
2005 - Indianapolis Colts - Lost Divisional Round.
2004 - Pittsburgh Steelers - Lost AFC Championship.
2003 - New England Patriots - Won Super Bowl.
2002 - Oakland Raiders - Lost Super Bowl.
2001 - Pittsburgh Steelers - Lost AFC Championship.
2000 - Tennessee Titans - Lost Divisional Round.
And that is only the last decade. Dating back to 1979, there have only been three times that the AFC Top Seed has won the Super Bowl. The 2003 Patriots, 1998 Denver Broncos and the 1983 LA Raiders are the only ones.
Any Given Sunday
So far this year, the Patriots have only lost two games. The first one was to the Jets back in Week 2. The second was against the Cleveland Browns.
The Patriots have already shown that they can beat the Jets, pounding them 45-3 in Week 13. But, the Browns?
If the Patriots were to play the Browns 20 times, they would win 19. That just goes to show that on Any Given Sunday, any team can beat any team.
That is why it is important for teams not to peak too early.
Peaking Too Early.
In the NFL, teams need to be playing their best football when the playoffs start. Since losing to the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 7, the Patriots have run off a string of five impressive victories.
In those five games, the Patriots have not scored less than 31 points, while not allowing an opponent to score more than 28.
The Patriots appear to be peaking right now, which means, come playoff time, they most likely will not be playing their best football.
Some of you may think that this is even worse than saying Tom Brady, but hear me out.
Belichick is such a great coach, that he has decided that he did not even need coordinators. He is basically running the show, not only as the head coach, but as the offensive and defensive coordinator as well.
To this point, he has been able to run the same game plan every week, and it work. Once the playoffs start, and the other teams start playing playoff ball, that same game plan is not going to continue to work.
Will Belichick be able to overcome not having coordinators and make a successful game plan for not only the offense but the defense as well? For both of their playoff games, provided they have two?
Ghosts of The Past
We can sit here on Bleacher Report, and debate the validity of Spygate. We can sit here, and talk about the Patriots Dynasty.
What do you think is going on in the head of Bill Belichick? He knows that since Spygate, he has not won a Super Bowl.
He knows that since the departure of Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis, he has not won a Super Bowl.
He knows that he had the best team ever, until they lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl.
Belichick is considered by many to be the best coach ever, but to prove to those that don't think he is even in the running, then he is going to have to win this one (or another one), and he has chosen to do it by himself.
He is all of the coaches, because he believes that no one else can do the job as good as he can. But, has he spread himself too thin?