The New England Patriots have featured unprecedented consistency for nearly two decades. The other AFC East teams, however, haven’t enjoyed that luxury.
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are set to embark on their 20th season together in search of the Patriots’ seventh Super Bowl title in franchise history. New England’s division foes will be hard-pressed to halt the Patriots’ AFC East title streak at 10, especially given their respective changeovers this offseason.
Mike Tannenbaum knows a thing or two about (unsuccessfully) trying to keep up with the Pats. Tannenbaum’s latest NFL stop was in Miami as the Dolphins’ executive vice president of football operations, a title he held after 15 years in the New York Jets’ front office. While there’s growing optimism for the Dolphins, Jets and Buffalo Bills, Tannenbaum put the difference between those teams and the Patriots in pretty glaring terms while catching up with NBC Sports’ Peter King.
“For New England, continuity has become a force multiplier,” Tannenbaum told King. “Nobody really talks about the new rules and the limited practice time with the CBA, but it really limits how much new coaches can do with their teams, whereas the Patriots have been together for so long. When (rookie Miami offensive coordinator) Chad O’Shea calls in the next play to Ryan Fitzpatrick or Josh Rosen, that will be play number one. When (new Jets head coach) Adam Gase calls in the next play to Sam Darnold, that will be play number one. When Josh McDaniels calls in the next play to Tom Brady, that will be play number 15,000.”
There’s no doubt the future is bright in Buffalo, Miami and the Meadowlands. But until Brady and Belichick ride off into the sunset, the rest of the AFC East likely will be left prisoners to the Patriots’ success.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images