The NFL world counting out the Patriots puts HC Bill Belichick in a perfect spot.
It’s been the opposite of fun trying to narrow down a prediction in terms of how the New England Patriots’ season will pan out. The term “roster turnover” has been used frequently among fans throughout the offseason, and understandably so, as the team lost several players, specifically on defense, to free agency who played massive roles in 2019.
To make matters worse, the Patriots watched an NFL-leading eight players opt out of the season due to concerns about playing amid the coronavirus pandemic. That string of mood-killers just further decimated New England’s already rawboned roster.
We haven’t even mentioned the departure of franchise legend Tom Brady and the retirement of distinguished offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. You could make the case that those losses will be the most difficult to overcome for the Patriots, who have relied heavily on stability and continuity at both quarterback and the front office/coaching staff over the last two decades.
For most franchises, that magnitude of roster overhaul would result in a significantly underwhelming season. However, we aren’t going to sit idly by and let folks pencil the Patriots in under that category. After all, they are led by detail-obsessed head coach Bill Belichick, who just so happens to thrive when the NFL word counts him out.
This is literally the perfect scenario for the six-time champion. Though his most critical fans will be expecting him to lead the Patriots to the playoffs for the 12th consecutive season following the signing and subsequent emergence of Cam Newton, you could argue that he’s under the least amount of pressure in his career.
Media members have pitted Belichick and Brady against each other amid their hunger to learn who was more essential to the Patriots’ dynasty, so it’s not like the former has the luxury of setting lower expectations than usual in 2020. With the success of New England at the top of our wishlist, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
There’s no denying that Belichick flourishes under the gun, and he somehow seems to take it up a notch when the odds are stacked against him and the NFL landscape is convinced he’s lost his touch. That bodes tremendously well for the Patriots’ chances to shock the world and perform better than most are expecting this season.
Expect the legendary head coach to put together a season for the ages in 2020.