No team is perfect. Not even the New England Patriots.
The Patriots, just like every other NFL franchise, head into each new season with at least a perceived flaw or two. But unlike every other NFL franchise, New England typically tends to iron things out en route to a deep playoff run.
For this reason alone, CBS Sports’ Will Brinson effectively decided to pass on the Patriots when identifying the “fatal flaw” for all 32 teams ahead of the 2019 NFL season.
“Finding a flaw feels stupid because they overcome everything every year,” Brinson writes. “I think Bill Belichick’s figured out the modern secret sauce for defense (invest in the defensive backfield, give up tons of yards, just be smart and disciplined in the red zone) which is no shocker. The defense won’t look like a top-five unit out of the gate but it’ll be one of the best scoring teams in the league and they’ll produce occasional lockdown performances. I’d accept pass catcher here too, because Rob Gronkowski retired and now it’s Julian Edelman and … Braxton Berrios? JK — they added N’Keal Harry, Demaryius Thomas, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and Dontrelle Inman, plus have Phillip Dorsett left over as well. Jakobi Meyers is a sneaky slot option too. They’re just not a dominant group. Instead I’ll roll with the guy who’s lying in the corner, bloody, being tended to by a trainer while Tom Brady, unscathed, munches on a mid-round avocado: Father Time. He’s got to show up at some point, right?”
Father Time taking down the six-time Super Bowl champion? Yeah, you probably shouldn’t hold your breath. Brady can’t play forever, but it doesn’t seem as though he’ll slow down any time soon.
It’s tough to knock Brinson’s approach for assessing the Patriots. New England arguably had more concerns over the course of last season, which concluded with yet another Lombardi Trophy for Brady, Belichick and Co. As such, it’s probably best to tread lightly when critiquing the Patriots.
Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images