In less than one week, the New England Patriots will travel to Sun Life Stadium to take on the Miami Dolphins in their regular season opener. The last time these two division foes faced each other in the season opener was back in 2011, a game the Patriots won 38-24. Many early projections believe the Dolphins will take this game, and perhaps be a threat to the Patriots this season and the seasons to come.
The AFC East has been dominated by New England for what seems like forever at this point. It is tough to envision the day when they will undoubtedly be the worst team in the division. There is no telling when that day will be, but it happens to every team — even the best of them. Once Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are gone, the Patriots of today will cease to exist.
Fans shouldn’t be too disappointed; after all, the Patriots have dominated the NFL for 14 years, winning three Super Bowls, appearing in five, and making he playoffs all but once. It has been a good stretch, and Boston would not be “Title Town” without them. New England likely has a few more good years in them before the structure of this current team begins to change, but there is no doubt that their historic run is nearing its end.
Of course, the Patriots are expected to be outstanding this year, and probably even next year. The realization that this may be the last shot New England has to win another Super Bowl is all too real, however. This is a conversation that is had every year, but with the signing of Jimmy Garoppolo as Brady’s backup and the resurgence of young, superstar quarterbacks, the focus is beginning to leave the Patriots.
Fans may want to bask in this season; it may be one of the last times the Patriots exemplify NFL success.