Expectations Revisited Patriots Sans Brady:

In Yesterday’s post I measured, with one game left in the NFL season Brady vs the expectations game to this point, now let’s look at the Patriots:

As I wrote at the time the Patriots pre-Brady:

  • Had a winning record 55% of the time
  • won 11 or more game (10 in a 14 game season) 14.6% of the time
  • won their division 12% of the time
  • made the playoffs 24% of the time
  • won a playoff game 9.7% of the time
  • went to a championship game 7% of the time winning 0%

While the Patriots with Brady:

  • Had a winning record 100% of the time
  • The Patriots won at least 12 games 70% of the time
  • The Patriots won their division & made the playoffs 90% of the time
  • The Patriots won at LEAST one playoff game 70% of the time
  • The Patriots went to the Superbowl 50% of the time
  • The Patriots WON the superbowl 30% of the time (67% of the times they went)

Given those facts combined with the fact that the worst season of the Brady Era was a 9-7 record I set the bottom of the expectations barrel for an OK season being 9-7 a winning record,

However as many people argued for years that Brady’s success was due to Bill Belichck now considered by many the best coach of all time. Many of the anti-Brady crowd gave him a lot of credit for that success so I adjusted these expectations up two games to 11-5 figuring if a good coach can make a one game difference the greatest coach of all time should at least be able to manage to put an extra win or two out of his hat. After all the were only 3 Brady years that they failed to win at least 11.

Instead the Patriots go into this weekend not only eliminated from the playoffs for the 1st time since Brady’s injury kept him out for a season but fighting for the chance, the chance mind you to finish .500 for the season.

This makes the Bill Belichick Era going into today’s game a 24-34 as the coach of the New England Patriots in games not started by Tom Brady and in the three seasons that he coached the team sans Brady he made the playoffs….nearly once.

My expectations scale was “fire the bum” if he failed to win at least 11 but given the Covid situation that while effecting all teams hit his team hard I’d give him another season’s leeway, particularly if he can manage to make .500. If not I think we can safely say that the question of Bill vs Tom in terms of credit has been answered conclusively.

Closing thought #1: It’s worth noting that New England not only missed the playoffs but did so in a year with an extra playoff spot while going into their final three games holding the tiebreakers against all the teams ahead of them..

Closing Thought #2 The biggest difference has been the expectations game. During the Brady era the expectations of the sports fans and sports radio in Boston was “Patriots Win” except for that playoff game in KC (That Brady Still won) Does anyone really think that this team wouldn’t have at least 10 wins and be heading at worst to a wild card game if they had Brady under center this year?

Closing thought #3: For all this critique let’s remember that with a good starting QB with a long term contract in hand Belichick with that 199th pick still saw what every other GM in the league, including those without a good QB signed long term, didn’t.

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