Ah, how I missed you and your lovely penchant for dismissing anyone who disagrees with you as delusional or in denial.
>Easily #1 Defense? By the end of the year they were pretty badly exposed
>Have you actually paid any attention to player transactions?
>"Since the Brady/Belichick era began, the Patriots are 13-6." Convenient that you said the 'Brady/Belichick' era, and not just the Belichick era, otherwise you'd have to add an extra 5-11 season. And that's doing him a service because it doesn't include the Browns years.
This argument gets wheeled out so often that it's quite frankly tiresome. Yes, Belichick had a rough start to his career in New England. But, for the love of God, that was 20 fucking years ago, in his first year with a new team. One would think there just might be some difference in how well someone performs after being with a team for not even a full season vs. being with a team for 8 or 16 years. Or, for that matter, how someone coaches two decades ago versus now.
>Are you gonna mention how he went 11-5 with Matt Cassel? A roster that was 3mins away from being perfect the previous year, and then didn't make the playoffs, with a QB who went on to make a Pro Bowl 2 years laters with the Chiefs and have a statistically better season.
The point isn't that the 08 Patriots didn't suffer from not having Brady; it's that he was able to keep the team afloat with an inexperienced QB who had never started a game before. Sure, they missed the playoffs, but they won 11 games, and only missed the playoffs due to incredibly unfortunate luck. And, yes, that is quite impressive imo. Compare it to something like the 2011 Colts, who went from 11-5 with Peyton Manning to 2-14 without him. Your coach and how well they've prepared is extremely important in keeping a team afloat in a scenario where your best player is no longer available.
>But when you look at how hard it was for the Steelers to win 8 games last year with arguably the second best coach in the league, and right now the Patriots aren't as good or talented on either side of the ball, just looking at the team on paper.
You're...absolutely crazy if you think the Steelers' probable 2020 defense is as good as the Patriots. The Patriots are better at every single secondary position than the Steelers. Gilmore is better than Haden. J McCourty is better than Nelson. D. McCourty is better than Fitzpatrick. Chung is easily better than...Terrell Edmunds or whoever ends up as the Steelers' second safety. Bentley is better than Bush. Guy is better than Tuitt. Wise is better than Wormley.
The only positions that the Steelers potentially outdo the Patriots on defense is LB1 with Watt vs. Hightower, and DL #2 with Heyward vs. whoever the Patriots end up starting there (probably Allen). And Watt vs. Hightower is, at the very worst, close. New England's defense, especially the secondary, is far superior to Pittsburgh's.
>This isn't even taking into account that it just wouldn't be smart for the Patriots to win games next season, when they really should be jockeying for the best possible draft position to get a QB. Or do you actually believe Jarret Stidham is the future?
>I mean, it wasn't bad enough that you spent the whole of last season in denial, but here you are still in denial, believing the Patriots can still get away with not having to rebuild after 20 years, even after the cornerstone of the team has left.
"Ah, how I missed you and your lovely penchant for dismissing anyone who disagrees with you as delusional or in denial." If you think I'm just randomly dismissing you as delusional or in denial, how about you start with every case where you actually came out on the right side? Maybe my memory's getting bad, but I'm pretty sure I was the one coming here pretty early in the season, saying that the Patriots were glaringly short on weapons (after they'd cut them all) and it wasn't going to bode well. This was before they had played the Ravens or even lost a game. Even though they'd spank teams like the Browns, the Browns were still running all over them, but would end up shooting themselves in the foot with careless ball control. Once the cracks started to show, it only got worse as the season wore on. But you, Mr. Head In The Sand, just kept waffling on about how everything would just work out through the magic of Belichick & Brady.
"Given your status as a...what are you now, a Tampa fan since Tom's moved there? A guy with a weird desire to only cheer for a single player?" Since when is it weird to be a fan of one player? Do you think everyone that started watching the NBA for Michael Jordan is a Bulls fan to this day? It's not like I desire to only be a fan of one player, but I'm not gonna feign allegiance to some team I have no affinity for. I don't live in America, so I can't be a fan of a home state team or even a close neighboring state team.
I started watching the NFL because of Tom Brady, and I just happened to discover that I also love watching the sport. But I was never gonna claim to be a fan of the Patriots if I hadn't followed them for long enough or felt enough reason to, just like I'm not a fan of the Bucs now. I'll obviously be following them though, and while Brady is their QB I'll root for them to win, but that's really it.
I didn't realise getting embarrassed at home on Wild Card Weekend is considered ok in New England now, as long as you can win 12 games. Seeing how hard that might be in the near future, maybe it's not bad that you're starting to lower expectations. Though based on the fact you still seem to believe the status quo is intact and the Patriots can still run the AFC East, maybe it's more that you're trying really hard to look at the glass half full, when everyone else can see there's nothing left in it.