Like most NFL fans, I cannot stand the New England Patriots. Their perfection, stoicism, demolishing of the New York Jets and the several cheating allegations against them are enough for me to loathe them. If you haven’t noticed, yes I am a Jets fan, a beleaguered one that contemplates when the team can finally overthrow the kings of the American FootballConference (AFC) East.
The Patriots have started this season without their superstar wide receiver Julian Edelman for four games after he tested positive for performance-enhancing substances. Now some have pointed out that Edelman was training with Tom Brady’s controversial personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, during the offseason while he recovered from a torn ACL. Make of that what you will, but it is another thing that Patriot-haters can hang their hat on, sort of.
They also lost their longtime defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, after he agreed to become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions. So far that has looked like a disaster since the Lions are 0- 2 as this is being written and will most likely be 0-3 by the time this is in print, after New England embarrasses them on Sunday Night Football.
The Patriots are coming off a 31-20 loss to the up-and-coming Jacksonville Jaguars. While the Lions should be hungry for their first win of the season, the Patriots don’t lose back-to-back games and the last time that happened was in 2015. Nonetheless, we can all hope.
So, when will the Patriots reign of terror be stopped? The team just acquired superstar, but often suspended, wideout Josh Gordon to strengthen an average receiving corps for practically nothing (a fifth-round pick and the Patriots will also receive a seventh-round pick). Will he be like Randy Moss or Chad Ochocinco in Foxborough? If Gordon can stay on the field, he should be Brady’s second most talented receiver he has ever thrown to and, given his age, that would certainly help the future Hall of Famer.
The Patriots will win the AFC East this season and probably next. But that is where this gets interesting. Brady will be 43 and Rob Gronkowski will be 32 years old three seasons from now. It will be hard to see Brady being able to compete at such a high level at that age and who knows if Gronk will still be playing (he threatened retirement prior to this season).
Head coach Bill Belichick will have to find Brady’s heir apparent in the next draft after he was forced to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers last season for a second-round pick. But who knows if Belichick will even want to stick around to help with the re-build. It may not be worth his time or the risk of tarnishing a nearly impeccable reputation (minus the cheating scandals).
Maybe the Jets can force their way to the top of the AFC East sooner rather than later with a budding star at quarterback, Sam Darnold, and an excess of $90 million in cap space heading into next season. But that all depends on when Brady decides to hang up the cleats.
Michael Logan is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.