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Debate Revisited: Pats Pulpit community projects when the Patriots will return to the Super Bowl

Related: Pats Pulpit Debates: How long until the Patriots return to the Super Bowl?


As part of our new Pats Pulpit Debates series we recently asked this question: When will the New England Patriots return to the Super Bowl?

Needless to say, this led to a lively debate, so let’s highlight some of the answers right here:


Ive seen very little by Bill to get my hopes up lately… I’m just going to say I REALLY enjoyed the Tom Brady years & will leave it at that…..


The year is 2103


if healthy and better OC, they will be contenders next year and likely win Superbowl

After BB retires, you now have the added head coach factor


I will forever cherish the Brady Years for the Franchise, but getting back to facts in stone of reality; It’s gonna be a LONG TIME before this Patriots Franchise steps on the field of an AFC Championship Game again, let alone a Superbowl.

As far as I’m concerned, Belichick is on the Hot Seat next season. No doubts whatsoever.


I think it will be a while.

@ In fact, I’m starting to wonder if maybe the dynasty is over. @

Flip McGee:

@ If they can still find tickets for sale they could be back this year. @


Well, assuming they can remain one of the best run clubs in the NFL (looking at entirety of the last 25 years, not just the past couple) and considering they are now mere mortals and subject to the same challenges as every other team that does not have two GOATs at the height of their powers, I’d say anywhere from 3-8 years playing the odds. Which also seems about right for the NFL. It’s a rough league to maintain success. What the Pats did recently is unheard of and criticize them now all you want, they now have to deal with what every other club does, too.


As long as Mahomes and Allen are in the AFC it will be unlikely. It’s a QB league, and while you can win without an elite QB it is really hard to win a Super Bowl.. Mac Jones is never going to beat Allen or Mahomes consistently ever - the talent gap is too big. Mahomes in particular is a generational talent. The Pats were lucky to win the OT coin flip in ‘18 in the AFC Championship game because they weren’t going to stop Mahomes.

I don’t know how the Pats get an elite QB either. There are about 25 other teams trying to find one.


Jimmy G (3 years ago) and Goff (4 years ago) were in the Super Bowl recently, so it’s not impossible, but we’d have to check a lot of boxes that are empty right now.


For us high IQ fans, the 2023 strategy is to strive to go 0-17 and maximize the the draft pick position. Draft the stud QB (Caleb Williams?) in the 2024 draft. Two development years (2024 & 2025 seasons ) for Williams to mature.

By 2026 you should be a Super Bowl contender.

(It all comes down to maximizing the 2024 draft pick position. If you don’t want to lose every game you shouldn’t call yourself a Patriots fan. You should look for another team to root against.)


I’ll set aside the “go 0-17 in 2023” case because Belichick ain’t doin that. Now, getting back to the Super Bowl anytime soon seems unlikely, but the way the NFL is structured now, there is an element of “get to the tournament, see what happens”.

1. Fix the offense. Duh. This involves bringing in some professional coaching. It obviously involves making the obligatory call to that Tom Brady person. It involves deciding if Mac is worth trying to win with. (I’d argue there are more reasons to say yes than no at this point - particularly if the professional coaching thing gets fixed) The skill players are not amazing - but the coaches have also failed to optimize them. They also have a chance to hit the eject button on a number of these guys which is interesting too.

2. Get a #1/#2 caliber cornerback. The defense is good, but it’s really what is missing. Jack Jones looks like a guy who could be a top 2 corner. But they need another guy who can play on the outside. Jonathan Jones is a free agent, and while he has done a nice job - letting him go and just letting Marcus be a slot corner is defensible.

This team is fascinating because they have a bunch of ways they can go, and it is hard to read what Belichick will do. Now, Belichick historically has been very good at being able to view the club dispassionately. Can he do that with his own coaching staff? That is a real question, one which he has not really had to encounter.


We need a QB so five years at the earliest. I’m assuming of course that they hold on to Mac as a starter for far too long.


I don’t think the Pats have a bad team or a team that is even that far away from being able to make a splash in the post season. The problem is it all depends on the decisions they make this offseason. On the current trajectory they will never make another superbowl in the near future.

If they manage to reroute the ship and get back to an upward trajectory by replenishing the offensive coaching staff, managing to replace both Tackles with good to great players and getting a top receiver then the team could be a solid playoff team next year and SB quality two years from now. The problem is, that is pretty much assuming everything goes right. Like getting another solid and productive draft class. Signing good Free Agents to manageable contracts etc.

Obviously the fan confidence in all of these things happening is low and rightfully so. But I will say that I think BB is capable of pulling it off.


I’m not giving up on Mac still. I still think we need to see him his 3rd year with hopefully better coaching and an actual OC

But look at the current AFC playoff QBs (of the ones who have OFFICIALLY clinched):

- Joe Burrow

- Justin Herbert

- Patrick Mahomes

- Josh Allen

- Lamar Jackson

And you can potentially add Trevor Lawrence to the group assuming Jags win AFC South

A lot of these QBs are very young and elite. Lawrence with better coaching + weapons looks like what people thought the #1 pick could be.

It’s not gonna be easy. Mac can still become a great QB, but I think the team will have to also bolster the roster around him. Mac doesn’t have to be a Top-5 guy, but if he can become close to Top-10 and we have a great defense we can still do it. It’ll probably take another 3 years assuming, again, we get rid of Patricia and get real coaching here (and some more good drafts).

Before anyone laughs, Mac did show flashes of being a Top-12 or even Top-10 QB last season with McDaniels as OC. This season, while Mac deserves some blame, the issues primarily are not on him. It’s fundamentally with the coaching and roster.


With good coaching and player development we could be in contention next that is a big if...I see no evidence of this (good coaching) happening yet..need some proof....IMO, it will take Robert & Jonathan kicking some butt..the changes will not be made willingly by Bill..must be forced...what if he objects some might say...then lock his office and have security remove him from building.

Fix this mess Bill...or own it...”I am responsible”. Your words..not mine. If you can’t stand heat...get out of kitchen.

If this happens...go after Payton. I give Bill a chance to change...if he balks...goodbye!

I have not given up on Mac, he will never be Allen, Mahomes, Herbert...most teams don’t have those freakish QB types...but I’d like a 3rd year from Mac with a very competent OC like O’Brien...see what happens


The D is good enough for contender status. The O would have trouble competing in a college division 2 league. If everything went right in terms of fixing the offense (hit quickly on a new OC, QB, and WR cross), maybe 3 years.

Any longer and the D will be in decline. So, taking into account how unlikely it is to fix the absolute mess that the offense is, I just don’t see them making a SB run for the next 5 years.


Tough to say but unless Belichick can essentially pull a rabbit out of his hat and work the greatest GM magic of his entire career, because that’s what it will take to completely overhaul this offensive staff (OC, OL coach, QB coach), we probably don’t sniff another AFCCG appearance, let alone SB in the next 5-7 years. The obstacles the Bills and Chiefs, and to a lesser extent the Bengals present, is just too great.

Let’s say everything falls into place this off-season though and Patricia is let go and BOB wants to come back. That’s 3 signal callers in 3 years for Jones. That’s the trend of bad organizations to have that level of turnover. Does he have the kind of makeup to overcome that? Starting to seriously wonder about his head based on his on field behavior and antics. But the talent on that side of the ball is still probably bottom third in the league. Realistically we need to replace Wynn/ Trent Brown and whoever were trotting out there at RT. Very difficult task in its own right. We need a legitimate WR1 - which will have to come via a trade or free agency because we know there’s zero chance of it happening in the draft. Is Bill spurned by his recent FA spending spree? Our two tight ends aren’t effective. What happens with Bourne? So the WR position needs a big overhaul. We have two very talented backs but its a passing league.

Oh by the way this ALL hinges on whether Mac Jones is actually capable of becoming a franchise signal caller, which I personally don’t feel good about at all. We could be entering the dark ages here. It may be a win if Bill can simplify leave the coaching staff in a good place and find us an elite QB prospect before he calls it quits. Sadly I don’t think we ever make it back with BB at the helm.


Well when we got people calling other fans losers because they are more intelligent than them or see the chessboard a few moves ahead,

Probably not for awhile. Because if we have any influence it’s that - watching games, going to games, consuming product.

And fans are either impulsive, selfish, or dim. Or some combination of them. It’s your right, but it’s extremely selfish and short-sighted to want to see a 7-8 team crawl into a playoff spot when they have virtually no chance of winning a SB, effectively only serving to give you a little hit of dopamine and fill a void in your life while tanking a draft pick considerably.

If fans aren’t smart enough to realize the difference between picking 10th-12th in the draft versus 18th-22nd then there’s no hope. Luckily, in some sense we don’t influence anything. But that’s the other edge of the blade...or whatever,

That Kraft and BB are just like these fans in a sense. Old, selfish, not much rope left. There has been zero indication of us trying or wanting to rebuild since Tom Brady left. And ironically, our best chance to win a SB might simply be to pull a Rams and go all-in right now. That would require a new QB though, whether it’s Rodgers or Jimmy G or Brady again somehow, so unlikely.

But it is also ironic, BB is the best coach ever. Top 3 in the league still by analytics and just obviously. Yet he’s tanking his own staff and holds the GM duties and is tanking the roster there for years. The ironic part, paradoxical, oxymoronic, is that our SB odds go up if he’s gone.

At this point we’re not winning a SB with him here. He deserves to play it out here, he should not be fired. He is great at coaching. But for all of the other reasons - refuses to rebuild, stubborn, hiring Patirica/Judge dumb ass decisions, awful drafting, bad GMing, Shula chasing - we won’t win with him again. Pretty easy prediction to make, not a hot take.

eastie Rich:

Are we counting this century or the next?


unless the patriots know someone who can score them tickets in about a month...they are going to have to get a better hook up for next years tickets.

other than way they are going. hotels and stuff will be all booked up too.


Going to be a very tough call on Mac Jones.

Do you go get a solid vet game manager (plenty of good options) or do you hope for a year 3 leap?

That’s really what this will come down to. There’s some places where they can and will add, but otherwise the roster is not in bad shape. There is a looming window ahead, but the QB can’t be awful. They need at least average.

Green Monstah:

6 to 8 years minimum ... For starters, NE will have to endure the Mac Jones era .. which will probably last another 3 years ... add to that Bill B. needs about 3 more seasons of mediocre .500 teams to pass Shula .. so Kraft ain lettin him go anywhere till he breaks that record with New England.

Too many issues is the main reason .. starting with the coaching staff that Bill B. will ride with till he retires .. or they leave. Considering they’ve sucked so bad .. I don’t see any teams lining up for any of our coaches. Bill will never admit he’s wrong .. so we’re stuck with these losers for a few more years as well.

The WR group will be dismantled. Agholor will be gone. Bourne will probably demand a trade .. and who could blame him. And Meyers will go to another team willing to give him more. That leaves us with Parker and Thornton ... good luck. And don’t even dream about getting a top tier WR to replace em .. ain no way BB is splurging on that.

The TE situation will be the same as the cap hit to cut em is too big ... and no one is knocking on the door to trade for either of Henry or Jonnu .. so at least another season of that hot overpaid mess.

Our O-Line will still be a mess. Wynn will be gone. Trent Brown will be another year older. As good as Andrews is, he’s also getting older. NE will probably draft here .. but that means a year or two of some new kid getting acclimated to the NFL.

At running back ... Harris probably isn’t resigned. That leaves Stevenson as the only true proven back ... the rookies Harris and Strong have potential, but we haven’t seen enough to say they can help carry the load in the long run.

As for the D ... this is our strength .. but some core vets will probably be on their way out. D-Mac being the most prominent. Our defensive backs have some promising players, but none of em stand out as a lock-down CB type .. and NE won’t overpay .. so we’re in similar situation there for a bit as well.

Folk is old and with one more year left on his contract will be on his last leg. Bailey could bounce back .. but even if he does .. he’s being overpaid anyway.

Add to this, Buffalo will have Josh Allen in his prime for a few more years, the Dolphins and Jets have improved and seem like they’re getting better.

Overall .. there is just too much to overcome to say that this NE team will be any better than they’ve been the last couple of years for the foreseeable future ... which means we’ll be stuck in mediocrity for at least 4 years .. and THEN a new crop will eventually have to form what will be the foundation of a rebuilding process that will take some time to develop ... so yeah .. 6 to 8 years.

At least we had the greatest run in sports history and can revel in the past while we endure the present and near future.

GO PATS ... buckle up : /


february 2023