The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: The New England Patriots’ dynasty is dead.
Explanation: People have been seeing ‘signs’ of it for years, yet the Patriots had been having as much success as ever before. They had up until this year been in a record eight consecutive AFC championship games, as well as the past three Super Bowls, winning two. But Tom Brady will be a free agent, and hasn’t looked like Tom Brady for much of the past two years. They may still be one of the top teams, but many are wondering if their reign of dominance over everybody else is finally over.
This era of the game is still about who you have at quarterback, and while the Patriots still have Tom Brady (for now), Brady isn’t Brady anymore. For much of this season, it’s looked as though he is a shell of his former self physically. Kind of like Peyton Manning in his last year.
The Patriots’ defense played beyond their abilities in 2019. I don’t think we should expect to see them play at the same level as they did this year. And the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets will be better in 2020. Maybe even the Miami Dolphins will finally get a quarterback. They were just taken out by a Bill Belichick protégé. Well, the Dolphins are coached by one.
Counting out Brady is always a bad idea. He’s not going to retire. It’s almost impossible to imagine him playing on another team, as well. Belichick will find him more weapons in the offseason and all will be ‘wrong’ with the world once again, with New England being the thorn in everybody’s side.
Sure, it was nice to start the decade off watching Brady and Belichick lose, even getting mad because an opposing coach exploited a loophole that he literally did himself a few weeks ago, but we always overreact whenever a giant stubs its toe thinking it’s finally going to fall.
Not yet. Nobody more aggressively manages their roster than Belichick, and he brings in stars when he feels he has to. Even if Brady retires or leaves, don’t you think he’s going to find a way to get another quarterback? I mean, he went 11-5 with Matt Cassell. That was enough to fool the Kansas City Chiefs into thinking he was a starter.