'The Dynasty': 3 biggest takeaways from new Patriots docuseries

Super Bowl XXXVI - Fox Postgame Show
Super Bowl XXXVI - Fox Postgame Show / Frank Micelotta Archive/GettyImages

After waiting two years to finally view the latest documentary on the Patriots 20 years of utter domination over the NFL, 'The Dynasty' was released on Friday and fans were able to relive the beginning of it all with the first two episodes.

A lot has already been made about the series, mainly due to some one-liners and journalists who have already viewed the entire documentary. But the episodes are far more than what is being discussed over the last few days.

The first two episodes start at the beginning while reflecting upon what led the Patriots to that point in 2001. You see what made Robert Kraft buy the team, how Bill Belichick was run out of Cleveland, the drama over the benching of Drew Bledsoe, and an overview of their first three Super Bowl wins.

But there are a few takeaways that stood out the most.

1. Drew Bledsoe's injury was far worse than you remember

If you've been a Patriots fan long enough to have seen Bledsoe play in New England, you're quite familiar with the hit by Mo Lewis that kept him sidelined for the rest of the regular season. It was clear the injury was severe, but hearing the intricate details of just how brutal the injuries he sustained were was the realization that maybe we weren't remembering all the details correctly.

The hit from Lewis to the quarterback's chest broke a blood vessel, causing serious internal bleeding. It wasn't something the Patriots' medical team was aware of until after the game, resulting in Bledsoe being rushed to the hospital.

It was an injury that could have killed him had they not recognized something was off with him more than just a concussion, which is an intense and scary moment to relive in the documentary and, surely, not a fun thing to recollect for Bledsoe or his wife, Maura who is also in the series.

2. Tom Brady replacing Bledsoe had been considered before the 2001 season began

When revisiting the Patriots' decision to keep Bledsoe sidelined for Brady, the consensus was that it was a move made based on recency bias and nothing more, especially since Kraft had just given No. 11 a new contract worth $100 million. Clearly, he was doing something to earn that money.

But that's not exactly the truth for the 2001 season.

During training camp and preseason, conversations were had amongst the staff regarding Brady's performance standing out above Bledsoe's. There were talks of the young quarterback replacing the starter, but it was Bledsoe's team, and that's what they stuck with.

Perhaps it's partly why it wasn't too difficult of a decision for Belichick to replace him with Brady when the opportunity presented itself eventually. It was something Ernie Adams agreed with and advocated for along with the head coach, speaking about the difference in Bledsoe's performance in recent years after taking so many hits.

It wasn't initially a move that Kraft agreed with, who said he "didn’t feel good about it" and felt that "Drew was treated unfairly." However, Brady going on an undefeated run, which ultimately brought them to the Super Bowl, and taking home the Lombardi trophy would quickly change anyone's mind.

3. Bill Belichick has controlled Foxboro weather for decades

The third episode primarily focuses on the "Snow Bowl" or the "tuck rule game," if you'd rather. It was a game where the team was praying for snow, as they viewed it to be a significant advantage for them over the (then) Oakland Raiders.

Coincidentally, it did snow, and it came down in buckets. But the most surprising part was it was the only snow game they had that entire season, coming at the perfect time against the right team to help the Patriots further their goal.

Kraft admits to trying to take advantage of the NFL's rules about snow, saying, "We tried to clear it by the rules but as little as we had to. I know I’m not supposed to say that, but that’s the truth.”

BONUS: Early footage of Belichick and Brady is pretty cool to see

The internet wasn't a big thing when the early days of the dynasty were taking place, so a lot of forgotten or unseen moments are shown in these episodes.

It's a stark reminder of how much has changed over the last 24 years, with Belichick appearing content speaking with the media and Brady just being one of the guys; it was a bit surreal to relive the beginning now knowing what was to come.

The relationship between Belichick and Brady was pretty great, too and even their interviews in present-day remained complimentary and respectful, even if things have gone downhill quite a bit over the last few years.


  • Hearing the Brady family recall the 2000 draft and waiting for Tom to get the phone call never gets old. Seeing his parents still get emotional over their son accomplishing his dream is so sweet.
  • The defense wasn't initially on board with Brady taking over for Bledsoe - a few players talk about how they basically hazed him until he finally won them over.
  • Most of the team believed the infamous 'tuck rule' moment was a fumble, but Brady continues to embrace its impact now and clarifies, “We didn’t write the (expletive) rule."
  • Ernie Adams hates Boston Sports Radio just as much as the rest of us
  • Ty Law believes a statue of Adam Vinatieri should be made: "Thank God for Adam Vinatieri. Hey, man, they should bronze his damn foot, for real. Put Adam Vinatieri’s foot on top of your damn car like it’s a Rolls Royce.”

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