Shocking every NFL fan to their core, the New England Patriots are being investigated for yet another solitary, non-systemic, non-pervasive cheating scandal that certainly does not extend to other issues in their history.
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been at the center of prior investigations of unauthorized video taping of other teams and using illegally deflated footballs for a competitive advantage. These were previously the only improper means used by the New England Patriots, the team that orchestrated the greatest Super Bowl comeback in NFL history starting after the game’s extended halftime.
The team was fined $250,000 and their first-round selection, and Belichick, who suddenly had an answer for everything the Falcons did in the first half of the Super Bowl, was fined $500,00. The team was fined $1 million and Tom Brady was suspended for four games for violating league rules regarding the footballs.
Obviously, Bill Belichick was done with bending the rules, with lax enforcement and small financial punishments being a strong deterrent. The Patriots had clearly learned their lesson, and no one has even questioned if the Patriots were behind the drone above Falcons practice days before the Super Bowl, Kyle Shanahan’s mysteriously missing playbook, or even hundreds of other things Belichick could have done during his two weeks of preparation.
Besides, when your team is so consistently good, bucking every single trend in NFL history in a way that does not raise any concerns at all, why bother cheating?
Earlier this week, the Patriots admitted they were behind a camera crew filming a documentary on a scout, who just happened to be scouting New England’s upcoming opponent. It sure sounded inconsequential.
Eight minutes sure sounds like a lot, but do the Patriots even need to cheat to win? After all, they almost unbelievably have the league’s best defense despite losing their best defensive lineman and defensive coordinator this offseason. Has anything even close to that ever happened before? No. Does this indicate, perhaps, that the team is again bending the rules for a competitive advantage? Absolutely not.
First, the Cincinnati Bengals are currently the worst team in the NFL. No one needs a competitive advantage to beat the Bengals, meaning it was clearly an accident and not an indication of wide-spread cheating against each and every opponent. The Patriots do not need any sideline video of any team, especially when they have Tom Brady, who remains the team’s starting quarterback years and years later than anyone else in NFL history.
Brady is obviously the best to ever do it, and his enduring health and vitality even in his 40s raises absolutely zero questions.
The Patriots have been the league’s best dynasty for nearly 20 years, a length of time so absurdly long it literally does not make any sense. With all the parity, injuries, salary cap constraints, evolving schemes, and the late draft picks a team receives after a winning record, it just goes to show you the Patriots are significantly better than 31 other teams.
Why are they better?
The answer seems to be coaching and execution. For instance, even though the Patriots were down by 25 points in the Super Bowl, they obviously just increased their coaching and execution after halftime to pull off a win bigger than anyone has ever seen before. That was enough to neutralize both Atlanta’s offense and defense, as if they magically figured out what the team was doing and how to exploit it.
Maybe the Patriots bent the rules two or three times but there is absolutely no reason to suspect the team has ever even considered doing it a fourth time.