As colleague Matthew Rewinski pointed out earlier this week, the eulogy for the New England Patriots has been written quite a few times in the past. Their dynasty died after the team’s wild card exits in 2009 and 2010, passed away when the Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game in both 2013 and 2015, and famously was ended by the Philadelphia Eagles — they of a 19-15 record since — in Super Bowl 52.
Now, in January 2020, the dynasty is still not over but it heads into an unknown future especially because of the status of Tom Brady: not only will the greatest quarterback of all time turn 43 in August, he also is scheduled to enter unrestricted free agency in March for the first time in his career. There is a realistic chance that the future Hall of Famer leaves New England and ends the Patriots’ dynastic reign upon his departure.
Despite all the uncertainty surrounding one of the pillars of New England’s dynasty, and the team’s recent playoff exit, fans are not yet ready to bury it just yet as a look at the latest FanPulse numbers shows. Earlier this week, SB Nation’s survey of the NFL’s 32 fan bases asked Patriots fans a simple question with two possible answers: is the dynasty over, yes or no? And the vast majority of those participating still think that it is alive at this point in time.
81.5% answered the question with no, compared to only 18.5% who believe that the proverbial fat lady has sung on the Patriots’ unprecedented run of success. Of course, those numbers will likely see some movement one way or the other over the next two months: Brady is the single biggest factor and him leaving could have a drastic impact on the rather optimistic position of Patriots fans participating in the survey.
If the six-time world champion does stay in New England, however, the dynasty will continue if only on the basis of the people who helped build it: the mere presence of head coach Bill Belichick and Tom Brady would keep the two-decade long run alive. Whether or not the success of years past and by extension the Vince Lombardi Trophy will return with the latter of the two remains to be seen, though.
If you too are interested in participating in our FanPulse survey, please click here!