Written by Darcy Waskiewics, Sports Editor
Will the New England Patriots ever lose? This is an extremely broad question, but one that seems to be consistently asked throughout the National Football League as the Patriots continue to have success season after season. The Patriots have steamrolled over multiple opponents and dominated the NFL for the past two decades. But how have the Patriots remained such a powerful dynasty in the NFL, and the entire sporting world, for nearly twenty years?
The Patriots were not always a franchise centered around success. The Patriots became a franchise in 1959 as the Boston Patriots in the American Football League but had little success during their time in the league, only appearing in one championship game, a 51-10 loss to the then San Diego Chargers after the 1963 season.
In 1970, the AFL combined with the NFL, and the Patriots became a member of the American Football Conference (AFC) East division. Since then, the Patriots have made the playoffs twenty-five times, but did not truly see success until 2000, when the team named Bill Belichick as head coach and drafted quarterback Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
The pieces of the New England Patriots fell into place in the 2001 season, when Brady made his debut for the team. The following February, the Patriots won their first Superbowl championship with a 20-17 win over the then St. Louis Rams, kickstarting a winning era that has yet to end.
With the tandem of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady leading the Patriots, the team has yet to have a losing season and have set multiple franchise records. Since 2001, the Patriots have claimed sixteen AFC East titles and appeared in nine Superbowl games. The team has also not had a losing season since 2001 and has won five additional Superbowl championships since then (2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017, and 2019), tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Superbowl wins with six.
After the Patriots won their sixth Superbowl title last February, it seemed like there was a chance the team would finally be slowing down as the 2019 season rolled around. The team lost 3-time Superbowl Champion and 5-time Pro Bowler Rob Gronkowski to retirement, while superstar Brady is playing in his nineteenth season with the Patriots at age forty-two.
However, now a third of the way through the season, the Patriots have made it extremely clear that they have no intention of slowing down. After kicking off the season with a dominant 33-3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 8, the Patriots continued to steamroll their way through their opponents, defeating the Miami Dolphins 43-0 the next weekend. Following that game, the Patriots continued to claim victories in their next four games, bringing their record to a perfect 6-0-0, with a chance to continue their success when they play the New York Jets on Oct. 21.
No other team has done what the Patriots have accomplished in the past twenty years. In the National Basketball Association, there have been teams who have won multiple years in a row, or have had their winning streaks, like the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s, and the Golden State Warriors in recent years, but none of those teams have experienced the level of success that the Patriots have. Even in 2019, the Toronto Raptors of the NBA and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League claimed their franchises’ first ever championship titles, while the Patriots were claiming their sixth title of the 2000s.
So, will the New England Patriots ever lose? Of course, the team has to lose eventually. It is not easy for a team to win every game in a season, although the Patriots have done it before with an undefeated sixteen-game regular season back in 2007, but they ultimately lost to the New York Giants in the Superbowl. Though most teams hit a rough patch eventually, the New England Patriots have made it clear that they have no intention of ending their dominance anytime soon.