The Patriots’ Super Bowl streak will come to an end at some point.
Nick Wright, for one, believes that time will come this February.
New England improved to 9-1 this past Sunday, but the Patriots aren’t garnering much praise for their road win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Tom Brady and Co. once again were anemic and needed to be bailed out by strong showings from the defense and special teams. Wright doesn’t foresee much improvement coming for the Patriots offense, which he believes will prevent New England from reaching football’s biggest stage for the fourth consecutive season.
“I don’t think the Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl. I don’t think they’re going to get to the Super Bowl and at the end of the year I think we’re going to say, ‘Why didn’t they?’ It’s going to be because the offense isn’t good enough. Patriots fans, you don’t have to listen to me. Take Tom Brady’s word for it. Tom Brady, at every opportunity, is expressing his concern and his frustration with the offense’s lack of ability, to sustain drives and to put up anywhere close to the level of production he’s been used to.”
"I don't think the Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl. I don't think the Patriots are going to get to the Super Bowl. … The offense isn't good enough. Patriot fans, you don't have to listen to me. Take Tom Brady's word for it." — @getnickwright pic.twitter.com/2V8sZZOYIT
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) November 19, 2019
Wright continued: “…He (Brady) knows he’s not playing with a full deck, so to speak. The offensive line injuries, the lack of consistent wide receiver play aside from (Julian) Edelman and a disappointing Sony Michel season. …It’s not all on Brady, but Brady has not been able to — in Year 20 in the NFL and at age 42 — he’s not been able to be the tide that lifts all boats. So to me, the answer is yes. Yes, the Patriots offense as a whole — Tom Brady is the leader of that offense — is going to prevent the Patriots from doing something only the Buffalo Bills have ever done, which is make it to four straight Super Bowls, much less win three out of four.”
Yes, there’s no denying there’s warranted cause for concern over the Patriots offense. That said, the same likely was said last season, probably even deeper into the campaign. New England laid an egg in Week 15 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and looked average at best in a victory over the Buffalo Bills the following week. It wasn’t until the 2018 regular-season finale the Patriots truly turned it on and never looked back.
It’s probably not fair to compare these Patriots to last season’s squad. The Super Bowl LIII-winning Pats had Rob Gronkowski in the fold and a better, fully healthy offensive line. That said, New England currently features an even stronger defense than a season ago, and O-line help should be on the way in the form of Isaiah Wynn. And who knows, maybe N’Keal Harry will live up to the expectations that come with being a first-round pick.
It’s not a hot take to predict the Patriots won’t reach the Super Bowl this season. But to count them out with six regular-season games still left to be played seems a bit foolish.