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Three Crowning Belichick-ian Moments Of The Patriots Dynasty

There's going to be a very different look to things in Foxborough in the 2024 season. In a span of less than 24 hours, Bill Belichick and the Patriots parted ways, and Jerod Mayo was promptly named his replacement. Before looking forward to a drastically new era of Patriots football, lets take a moment and look at what was. Here are five aspects/moments of the dynasty that most exemplify what Bill was all about in New England.


"We're Onto Cincinnati"

Belichick was always an entertaining one when it came to his press conferences with the Patriots. He always kept his cards close to his vest, and never entertained poorly-formed questions. Of course, when it was a good, football-related question, he was as loquacious as anyone. In 2014, after a blowout loss against Kansas City, the Patriots were in rare adverse territory, and for the first time in over a decade, people were even questioning Brady's starting spot.


Belichick laughed off any mention of evaluating the QB position, and to almost every other question, he had the same reply: "We're onto Cincinnati". In a moment where everyone wanted him to look back, he looked forward. And onto Cincinnati they were, a 2-2 team playing an undefeated Bengals squad. The result? Resounding. Brady and the offense got back to familiar territory, gaining over 500 yards for the game with almost no mistakes. The all-too familiar shutdown Belichick defense more than did its part - forcing three turnovers, not allowing a SINGLE third or fourth-down conversion, and keeping the Bengals to running 34 less plays than the Patriots.


The Patriots, of course, ended up winning the Super Bowl, and after the KC loss, they lost only 2 of their next 15 games, fighting not only this adversity, but the adversity of deflategate, as they ended the dynasty of the legion of boom before it could even start.


Bookends Of The Super Bowl Era - Against The Same Team

If we didn't know what Belichick would amass to as a coach and what Brady would amass to as a QB, that Super Bowl 35 win would continue to make no sense. The Rams had each of the last three MVP awards - in that season it was Kurt Warner. They "Greatest Show On Turf" moniker was not just a name. They scored over 500 points for the third straight year, finished an insane 14-2, and were favored by a whopping 14 points over the 11-5 Patriots.


Belichick's defense barely let them get above that amount, let alone win by it. Stout defense (the Rams didn't pass three points until the fourth quarter), a smart game plan, and some Brady magic brought the Patriots their first Super Bowl. 18 years later, the Patriots ran into the Rams again, remarkably after another 11-5 season. Yet again, the Rams had the top offense in the entire league. And yet again, the Rams weren't able to pass three points in the first three quarters - but this time they didn't pass that total all game.


In a game where, despite a really clutch fourth-quarter drive at 3-3, the greatest QB of all time actually had quite a rough time, only scoring three through three quarters, Belichick's defense had a crown jewel of a game. The best offense in the league had three converted third downs, just 260 yards, and punted a whopping 9 times. It may have been an uglier win, but it was a defensive masterclass, and most importantly, a sixth super bowl as a head coach, eighth total, and far from the first time that a brilliant defensive game plan led the narrative.



The Greatest Comeback In NFL History Ended A Bizarre But Awesome Year

The 2016-17 season was just bizarre for the Patriots. Deflategate had been done and dusted in court... until it wasn't, and was back on. The Patriots started the leadup to the 2016 season with a draft in which they forfeited their first-round pick, and started the season itself with four games where Brady was suspended.


In the most Belichick-ian way possible, the Patriots didn't allow the rest of the of the NFL to gain any satisfaction out of those four games - not with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm, nor with Brissett. Brady came back to a team that found a way to win three of their first four games via great defense, innovative strategies, and pure resilience. And he took that team and RAN with it - the Patriots won 11 of their last 12 to end the regular season (14 of 15 including the playoffs).


After arguably the most horrendous playoff half of the Belichick-Brady era, the fairytale looked to be over, and after the Falcons went up 28-3 late in the third, it was done and dusted... at least, it would have been against any other duo. A set of masterful adjustments led to shutdown defense down the stretch for the Patriots, as well as a ridiculous stretch of play by Brady and the whole offense. The Patriots ended up ending a season filled with drama in the most dramatic way possible - by making the biggest comeback in super bowl history and finishing the Falcons off in OT.


The Bottom Line

Thank you, Bill, for 24 seasons of showing the sports world what it's like to consistently be hungry, how to imbue a mindset on a team, and how to just. plain. win. Cheers to the greatest dynasty in the history of pro sports.

 

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