New England Patriots

By Matt McCarthy,

I’ve never been so happy to be so wrong.

And wow, I was spectacularly wrong.

Just over a month ago, I publicly declared, both on the air and in print, that the end had arrived for the Patriots dynasty. I honestly, truly believed that we were watching the castle crumble.

Tom Brady looked old, Rob Gronkowski looked done, and the defense didn’t look capable of stopping anyone. They didn’t have home field advantage and they had shown they couldn’t win on the road.

There was no way this team was good enough to get to the Super Bowl. Not this year, not next year, not ever again with Tom Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as the head coach. Time had run out.


This is my mea culpa.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 20: The New England Patriots celebrate in the locker room after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 20, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. The New England Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 37-31. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

How could anyone be so foolish to doubt the Brady-Belichick era Patriots? Have I not seen this team rise from the ashes countless times before? Still, I doubted.

Add me to the list of people who have gone on the record declaring the Patriots done only to see them storm back as strong as ever. I’ll take my place alongside the Trent Dilfer’s of the world.

Shame on me.

I called this Patriots team a bunch of frauds. I called them imposters. The real Patriots were dead, I said.

As it turns out, they’re very much alive. They’re not imposters, they’re not frauds, but surely I’m an idiot.

They did what they always do: win in January. I didn’t think they had it in them this time around. Sorry.

But at least acknowledge this: the Patriots as we know them did look dead. This season was teetering on the brink of destruction and it didn’t look like they were capable of overcoming their issues.

If you don’t acknowledge that they looked cooked a month ago, then you fail to give this team the proper credit they are due for the improvements they have made. They look like a different group. This type of evolution is almost impossible to accomplish at this time of year, but leave it up to Belichick and Brady to find a way to get it done.

It’s truly remarkable.

Nothing ever ends well in life. The Patriots dynasty will one day come to an end, but it won’t happen this year. They have fought off death again, because that’s what they always do.

Those who have prognosticated their demise remain 0-for-lifetime. Add me to the list.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.