By Danny Donnelly ‘19
With five Super Bowl wins under their belt, and the greatest comeback in football history against the Falcons, the New England Patriots are arguably one of the greatest football teams of all times. Between 2002 and 2017, the Patriots won five Super Bowls with Tom Brady at the helm. Hall of Famer and Football legend Joe Namath considers Brady one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Bill Belichick, the only coach with the most Super bowl wins may be the greatest coach in NFL history.
Over the years, the Patriots have had 24 NFL hall of famers play for their team including Mike Haynes and Drew Bledsoe. They hold numerous records including all time passing, all time rushing, all time receiving, all time scoring and all time AV and winningest coach. Super Bowl 51 will go down as the most exciting reversal of all time. With the Patriots trailing behind the Falcons by eighteen points, many viewers turned off the tv at halftime, only to be befuddled by a miraculous comeback that went into overtime. The Patriots returned and tied the game and made Super Bowl history forcing an overtime and winning. Their approach was a lesson to all. It would be their outlook, the perspective that the second half constituted a new game opportunity, and this view point provided the momentum to take back the lead. We should all hope to handle every obstacle and life challenge with a similar outlook. These are the traits and initiatives that make for greatness in a team.
The Patriots’ current season had a disappointing start as they lost their first game to the
Chiefs by 15 points. The game, played on the home turf in Foxborough drew attention to weakness in their pass rushers. Key pass rusher Dont’a Hightower suffered a knee injury in the third quarter. The Patriots maintained an early lead throughout the whole game until they blew it in the fourth quarter. Despite having a six point lead by the end of the third quarter, the patriots failed to score any points in the fourth quarter. However, the Chiefs managed to score an impressive 21 points during the last quarter. Chiefs’ running back Kareem Hunt scored two touchdowns while wide receiver Tyreek Hill scored one. Both teams lost a player to injury during the game. The Chiefs lost safety Eric Berry with almost 5 minutes remaining in the game.
Rest assured if history is an indicator, this is only a warm up and the Patriots will come back strong. If the first game was considered a warm up, the Patriots recovered quite nicely and came together to win the next game against the New Orleans Saints. An away game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 17th, 2017 ended with a Patriots win with the final score of 36 to 20. The Patriots scored 20 points in the first quarter and never looked back. The Saints only managed to score 3 points in the first quarter and struggled for the rest of the game. This victory places the Patriots record at one win and one loss while the Saints fall to zero wins and two losses. For the Patriots, touchdowns were scored by Burkhead, Gronkowski, Hogan and Gillislee. The Patriots’ kicker Stephen Gostkowski scored three field goals.
The Patriots suffered three injuries in the game including Gronkowski, Burkhead and Rowe. The Saints also suffered three injuries including Lattimore with a concussion, Hendrickson and Loewen with leg injuries. The next game is scheduled for September 24 against the Texans. That game will be a good indicator of how well the Patriots will play for the rest of the season.
Will the Patriots continue their winning streak ahead or will they stumble? With hard workand good direction from their coaches, the Patriots are bound to have a good season this year.Moreover, the experience and critical understanding of the game that Brady and Belichick possess will improve their chances of winning. If they maintain their positive attitude, namely that every second half is a new beginning and opportunity to win the game, this team will remain a formidable opponent in many Super Bowls to come. In seeing the second half as an opportunity to start a new, it takes the attention off the obstacles and places the focus on the goal. In doing so, it gives strength to the vision to win, and momentum to bring the win home. Vision may be the hidden gem that distinguishes the extraordinary from the ordinary players.