Why Are the Patriots So Good?

Marciano490

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I’d love to read a book, preferably by Charlie Pierce, discussing the synergy between the four major sports teams in Boston. I imagine it’s not a coincidence the Pats and Sox and to a lesser extent Celtics and Bruins have been so damn successful over the same window. It’d be cool to hear more about how they relate and whether there is extra pressure or inspiration sharing the same market.
 

joe dokes

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My pet opinion is that the Patriots are the true example of "Moneyball theory" being put into practice. People talk about the As, of course, and the Red Sox, but without a salary cap and huge discrepancies in markets, baseball is an uncontrolled environment. The Patriots are the best team in football (in sports) at recognizing market inefficiencies and capitalizing on them. They do this by looking at league-wide strategy trends and finding economical ways to exploit them. By staying one step ahead on the field, they are also one step ahead in terms of paying players.
Ironically, though, sometimes "staying one step ahead" means turning back the clock, as with going heavy against teams with lighter faster defenses built to combat the proliferating spread and RPO offenses.
 

bakahump

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I coach Middle School. So Same thing as BB. :)

You can't do anything about it, other than teach later. In the moment, the only thing you can do is accept and move forward based on whatever the new situation is.
As dumb as it sounds this is a microcosm of what makes BB and thus the Pats great. How often do we see him jotting a note with the Pencil behind his ear on a pad?
What do YOU think he is jotting? Me, I think its shit that went wrong that needs to be coached up. Thats Brilliant. It really is. How often do we as youth coaches see something, even comment to our fellow coaches about "how Billy really missed xyz". But in the heat of the moment we forget. Instead at practice later We focus on the Last goal line play or on Tommy Striking out in the 6th. Sure its stuff that needs improvement, but its not everything that needs improvement. I never used to write stuff down. I was too caught up in my responsibilities and trying to take everything in. The irony is that in taking it all in....I missed alot of it. BB doesnt do that. In his attention to detail way....when he sees something....he says something.

BB doesnt get lost on just the Big stuff. He looks at it all. I imagine his notes look something like "Talk to DS about Cannon, 3q 2:06 Missed Block in space". "Tom misses up and out 4q 13:10".

Who knows what he is truly writing. But he is writing something. He is focused on improving something, something small, something seemingly insignificant. All the time.
 

pappymojo

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I coach Middle School. So Same thing as BB. :)



As dumb as it sounds this is a microcosm of what makes BB and thus the Pats great. How often do we see him jotting a note with the Pencil behind his ear on a pad?
What do YOU think he is jotting? Me, I think its shit that went wrong that needs to be coached up.
"Fuck Roger Goodell"
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Lots of great posts and points made in this thread.

The one extra point I'd make is that there might be increasing returns to success in the NFL. By this I mean a couple things.

1) BB might be the only coach or GM in the league who has never devoted a single moment over the last fifteen years to worrying about his own job security or ever wondered whether what was best for himself professionally and what was best for the team in the long run might not be the same. We shouldn't underestimate how many teams in the NFL are undermined by coaches and/or GMs making bad decisions with short time horizons because they feel the need to win now or shirking hard decisions - especially in dealing with difficult players - because they don't want to take the heat.

2) The insane success of BB, Brady, and the franchise under their direction also probably helps a lot in maintaining the disciplined culture of the locker room. The NFL is full of 20something alphas who have spent their whole lives being told they're special. Even if you approach team building with character in mind, the natural tendencies of this group of young men are going to be to question authority, especially if things aren't going well on the field, and to believe they know more than they do. But who the fuck is going to question Bill Belichick and Tom Brady?

This isn't to detract from all the other points, especially BB's amazing qualities. But I think, ceteris paribus, its a lot easier to run an NFL team if you're widely considered a football genius than if your job performance is constantly being put under a microscope by the media, your players, and your boss.
 

tims4wins

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Great points MMS. And as I noted upthread - all the success had led to more practices than any other team. More practice, more reps, more film --> better performance.
 

tims4wins

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Somewhere in all this, promoting from within has to be mentioned. We see other teams bring in veteran OCs or DCs to run the show when someone leaves, and it doesn't seem to work out - think Todd Haley in Pittsburgh. It falls within the continuity bucket. With the exceptions of Dom Capers and now Greg Schiano, the Pats have never taken this approach. And I think we all have reason to agree Schiano will be fine in the role.
 

BaseballJones

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I’m glad I started this thread because you all have made some really good points and offered interesting insights.
 

tims4wins

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This thread reminded me of the interview referenced earlier (It's really good if you haven't already seen it, also worth a re-watch if you have).
From that:

Belichick's coaching tenets

Do your job
Be attentive
Pay attention to details
Put the team first

Full interview - https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/04/13/exclusive-bill-belichick-on-leadership-winning-and-tom-brady-not-being-a-great-natural-athlete.html
Thanks for linking. I remember watching that nearly two years ago, but it was great to watch again.
 

Jimbodandy

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I'd like to echo the sentiments of some others above. This is a great thread.

There are lots of reasons why the Patriots are so good. Go figure.

While we're talking about BFB's job security, we should note that part of the reason for that is that the owner stays the fuck out of his business generally. So points to the ownership as well.
 

BaseballJones

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I'd like to echo the sentiments of some others above. This is a great thread.

There are lots of reasons why the Patriots are so good. Go figure.

While we're talking about BFB's job security, we should note that part of the reason for that is that the owner stays the fuck out of his business generally. So points to the ownership as well.
This is one reason why I think it's the perfect storm of historically great ownership, historically great management/coaching, and historically great play at the most important position in all of sports (NFL QB). BB wouldn't do as well with meddling or crappy ownership, or with a crummy QB (or even with a fairly good QB like Bledsoe). Brady wouldn't do nearly as well with an average coach or ownership not committed to him. And Kraft wouldn't be so likely to not meddle if he didn't have the GOAT coach and QB. They all work together - not without occasional friction I'm sure - to create the greatest franchise the league has ever seen.
 

Jimbodandy

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This is one reason why I think it's the perfect storm of historically great ownership, historically great management/coaching, and historically great play at the most important position in all of sports (NFL QB). BB wouldn't do as well with meddling or crappy ownership, or with a crummy QB (or even with a fairly good QB like Bledsoe). Brady wouldn't do nearly as well with an average coach or ownership not committed to him. And Kraft wouldn't be so likely to not meddle if he didn't have the GOAT coach and QB. They all work together - not without occasional friction I'm sure - to create the greatest franchise the league has ever seen.
I agree completely. The combination makes it fantastic. But from what I can see, the particular focus on a) the next play, and b) absurd preparation comes from Bill. It's probably hard at this point to unpack the source of everything though. Everyone deserves a bunch of credit.
 

TheoShmeo

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This isn't to detract from all the other points, especially BB's amazing qualities. But I think, ceteris paribus, its a lot easier to run an NFL team if you're widely considered a football genius than if your job performance is constantly being put under a microscope by the media, your players, and your boss.
Bill's job security is critically important, I agree.

And we just saw this play out before our eyes over the last two seasons.

Think back to the aftermath of the Eagles game. The Butler decision. Lane Johnson talking about how the Pats don't have fun. Questions about whether BB's handling of Guerrero strained his relationship with Brady, Gronk and other players. The Wickersham article.

Then they started off 1-2.

BB never wavered. He never explained himself. He just kept plugging.

And one year after the strip sack, they're champs again.

To your point, only a coach who was totally sure of his job status could withstand and achieve all that.

Take a bow, Bob Kraft, for recognizing greatness and not blowing with the wind.
 

Mooch

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Buried in this excellent ESPN piece about the Combine (http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/26136412/steak-booze-sense-dull-dread-here-really-happens-nfl-combine) and all of it's inefficient silliness is an extremely telling nugget about the way the Patriots evaluate players and why other teams don't do it the same way:

The teams correctly assume that the answers they seek lie hidden inside the players, and yet the combine gives them all just 15-minute interviews amid the circus of other activity. Some teams would rather the entire week be devoted to interviews, along with the invaluable medicals exams. Franchises are forever fumbling in the dark for clues. They all try a forever-changing system of interrogations, mock-therapy sessions and psych evals. A few, like the Colts and the Patriots, have utilized non-football leadership and character experts who are fully integrated into their facility and staff. Most, however, have not.

When I asked around in Indy, I was told the reason is shockingly simple: many coaches believe their own myth about being leaders of men and experts in the realms of character and motivation. They cannot admit in public that they really don't know much about any of those things. Maybe in every NFL facility there is a person or a group of people who could win games, maybe even The Game, if the people above them could stop preening long enough to listen.

For all of BB's success and ego, he has always operated in a relatively egoless way in terms of getting input from all sides in terms of game plan, in-game tactics, etc... Belichick understands this stuff more than anyone.
 

loshjott

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Buried in this excellent ESPN piece about the Combine (http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/26136412/steak-booze-sense-dull-dread-here-really-happens-nfl-combine) and all of it's inefficient silliness is an extremely telling nugget about the way the Patriots evaluate players and why other teams don't do it the same way:

The teams correctly assume that the answers they seek lie hidden inside the players, and yet the combine gives them all just 15-minute interviews amid the circus of other activity. Some teams would rather the entire week be devoted to interviews, along with the invaluable medicals exams. Franchises are forever fumbling in the dark for clues. They all try a forever-changing system of interrogations, mock-therapy sessions and psych evals. A few, like the Colts and the Patriots, have utilized non-football leadership and character experts who are fully integrated into their facility and staff. Most, however, have not.

When I asked around in Indy, I was told the reason is shockingly simple: many coaches believe their own myth about being leaders of men and experts in the realms of character and motivation. They cannot admit in public that they really don't know much about any of those things. Maybe in every NFL facility there is a person or a group of people who could win games, maybe even The Game, if the people above them could stop preening long enough to listen.

For all of BB's success and ego, he has always operated in a relatively egoless way in terms of getting input from all sides in terms of game plan, in-game tactics, etc... Belichick understands this stuff more than anyone.
I wonder if Easterby played a role in previous combines, helping with those character interviews, etc. I can't find info if they've replaced him yet.
 

Mooch

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I wonder if Easterby played a role in previous combines, helping with those character interviews, etc. I can't find info if they've replaced him yet.
We probably wouldn’t know if they did. How many of us had even heard of Easterby and his role until he actually left the Pats?
 

Super Nomario

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I wonder if Easterby played a role in previous combines, helping with those character interviews, etc. I can't find info if they've replaced him yet.
This article indicates that he did: "Three years ago, they hired Easterby to interview prospects and implement his own version of character assessment." It's not clear to me that Easterby's replacement would also fill this role; he sounds like he had a unique skill set.
 

loshjott

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We probably wouldn’t know if they did. How many of us had even heard of Easterby and his role until he actually left the Pats?
In googling around before asking the combine question (thanks, Mario!) I learned that Easterby's position was unique in the NFL. Most if not all teams have team chaplains that work part-time alongside their full-time religious jobs. But Easterby was the only one employed full-time by the team.
 

dcmissle

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Every team uses sports science in some way, shape, or form. Many college teams do as well.
My problem with the piece is that it provides no detail on “sports science” apart from a reference to “gait”.

Kinesiology? What else?
 

RedOctober3829

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My problem with the piece is that it provides no detail on “sports science” apart from a reference to “gait”.

Kinesiology? What else?
Strength coaches use a ton of technology to evaluate their athletes now. Some get a baseline test of how much energy each athlete exerts in a typical practice or workout through heart monitors and they can track their energy rate through a practice. They can track data throughout the season to see if an athlete is apt to get hurt. I know a lot of coaches who use sports science and it's found that injury rates go down. This is just one of many examples.
 

dcmissle

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Strength coaches use a ton of technology to evaluate their athletes now. Some get a baseline test of how much energy each athlete exerts in a typical practice or workout through heart monitors and they can track their energy rate through a practice. They can track data throughout the season to see if an athlete is apt to get hurt. I know a lot of coaches who use sports science and it's found that injury rates go down. This is just one of many examples.
Thank you!
 

j-man

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1 timeing
2 picking brady and putting in the pefect system while on 30 other teams brady might been out of the nfl by 2005 without the offence C Weis had for him at the start of his career

let say brady goes to SF in 2000 they had a not so good o-line no def and mooch

lets say brady bets out garica in camp brady plob has a up/down year 1 only threw 3 passes in 2000 i will say 21 td's 18 ints 8-8 ne 5-11
01 27 td 10 int loses to philly in div round ne 6-10 huard starts after week 6
02 29 td 15 int loses to tb in div round mooch is fired dennin e comes in ne 8-8
03 20 td 8 int finesh 9-7 ne start 0-2 in 2003 prompt tom jackson to say bill b has lost the team this time he is right as ne goes 5-11 bill b gone goes to dallas as DC
04 sf trades brady to balt for 2 1st and and 2004 2nd ne hires gary kubiak from denver as OC matt sauhcb is your new qb he is up/down ne goes 7-9
04 23 td 12 int loses to pitt in afc tittie game
05 brady gets hurt balt goes 6-10 without him ne loses to den in mile high 10-6
06 brady beats p manning but loses to sd in afc tittie game 30 td 9 int ne goes 8-8 dallas wins 06 super bowl bill p retires bill b takes over
07 mr kraft tells gary k win a playoff game or u are out he has his eyes on jon gruden or john harbaugh
kubeiak goes 9-7 gets fired and u hire john harbaugh
brady throw for 26 td in 2007 but a older ravens ouits on billick they go 8-8 kubiak goes to balt

long story short without bill brady wins 2 sb max without brady bill b wins 1-2 super bowls max

and due to the extra hits brady takes in SF and balt he goes out with ray lewis after 2012 winning only 1 super bowl
bill leaves dallas after 2008 when jones wants jason garrett to stick around when bill wants to fire him
then he works for parcells down in miami siting up a bach and forth between NE Harbarugh/flacco and mia bill b chad p then tebow then jimmy g bill is still going he is DC now for NO

Gronk = philly aaron h went to oakland juiles went to dal then mia now no
 

brandonchristensen

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1 timeing
2 picking brady and putting in the pefect system while on 30 other teams brady might been out of the nfl by 2005 without the offence C Weis had for him at the start of his career

let say brady goes to SF in 2000 they had a not so good o-line no def and mooch

lets say brady bets out garica in camp brady plob has a up/down year 1 only threw 3 passes in 2000 i will say 21 td's 18 ints 8-8 ne 5-11
01 27 td 10 int loses to philly in div round ne 6-10 huard starts after week 6
02 29 td 15 int loses to tb in div round mooch is fired dennin e comes in ne 8-8
03 20 td 8 int finesh 9-7 ne start 0-2 in 2003 prompt tom jackson to say bill b has lost the team this time he is right as ne goes 5-11 bill b gone goes to dallas as DC
04 sf trades brady to balt for 2 1st and and 2004 2nd ne hires gary kubiak from denver as OC matt sauhcb is your new qb he is up/down ne goes 7-9
04 23 td 12 int loses to pitt in afc tittie game
05 brady gets hurt balt goes 6-10 without him ne loses to den in mile high 10-6
06 brady beats p manning but loses to sd in afc tittie game 30 td 9 int ne goes 8-8 dallas wins 06 super bowl bill p retires bill b takes over
07 mr kraft tells gary k win a playoff game or u are out he has his eyes on jon gruden or john harbaugh
kubeiak goes 9-7 gets fired and u hire john harbaugh
brady throw for 26 td in 2007 but a older ravens ouits on billick they go 8-8 kubiak goes to balt

long story short without bill brady wins 2 sb max without brady bill b wins 1-2 super bowls max

and due to the extra hits brady takes in SF and balt he goes out with ray lewis after 2012 winning only 1 super bowl
bill leaves dallas after 2008 when jones wants jason garrett to stick around when bill wants to fire him
then he works for parcells down in miami siting up a bach and forth between NE Harbarugh/flacco and mia bill b chad p then tebow then jimmy g bill is still going he is DC now for NO

Gronk = philly aaron h went to oakland juiles went to dal then mia now no
This reads like Patriot Hater erotica.
 

EddieYost

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1 timeing
2 picking brady and putting in the pefect system while on 30 other teams brady might been out of the nfl by 2005 without the offence C Weis had for him at the start of his career

let say brady goes to SF in 2000 they had a not so good o-line no def and mooch

lets say brady bets out garica in camp brady plob has a up/down year 1 only threw 3 passes in 2000 i will say 21 td's 18 ints 8-8 ne 5-11
01 27 td 10 int loses to philly in div round ne 6-10 huard starts after week 6
02 29 td 15 int loses to tb in div round mooch is fired dennin e comes in ne 8-8
03 20 td 8 int finesh 9-7 ne start 0-2 in 2003 prompt tom jackson to say bill b has lost the team this time he is right as ne goes 5-11 bill b gone goes to dallas as DC
04 sf trades brady to balt for 2 1st and and 2004 2nd ne hires gary kubiak from denver as OC matt sauhcb is your new qb he is up/down ne goes 7-9
04 23 td 12 int loses to pitt in afc tittie game
05 brady gets hurt balt goes 6-10 without him ne loses to den in mile high 10-6
06 brady beats p manning but loses to sd in afc tittie game 30 td 9 int ne goes 8-8 dallas wins 06 super bowl bill p retires bill b takes over
07 mr kraft tells gary k win a playoff game or u are out he has his eyes on jon gruden or john harbaugh
kubeiak goes 9-7 gets fired and u hire john harbaugh
brady throw for 26 td in 2007 but a older ravens ouits on billick they go 8-8 kubiak goes to balt

long story short without bill brady wins 2 sb max without brady bill b wins 1-2 super bowls max

and due to the extra hits brady takes in SF and balt he goes out with ray lewis after 2012 winning only 1 super bowl
bill leaves dallas after 2008 when jones wants jason garrett to stick around when bill wants to fire him
then he works for parcells down in miami siting up a bach and forth between NE Harbarugh/flacco and mia bill b chad p then tebow then jimmy g bill is still going he is DC now for NO

Gronk = philly aaron h went to oakland juiles went to dal then mia now no
I’m glad they got lucky cuz this would have sucked.
 

bakahump

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And in that universe BBtL is still a backwater part of SOSH, Home to your 8 (since 2000) time World Champion Boston Red Sox.
 

SMU_Sox

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This reads like Patriot Hater erotica.
I think @j-man was just trying to point out that luck was a part of it. I don’t think he has any ill-will towards the Pats. And hey, I have no problem admitting that some moves worked out much better than anyone could have imagined including BB. I’ll take a ton of hard work and an excellent system top to bottom in all facets combined with luck.
 

LoweTek

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I think it's important to acknowledge some fairly mundane facts which quietly contribute a lot to their success. Consistently among the NFL's best in:
  • Fewest turnovers
  • Fewest penalties
  • Fewest penalty yards (lots of false start calls I guess)
  • As somebody mentioned, special teams quality of play
Also, The Hill. Running the hill behind Gillette. Reminds me of a Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) line, "I can't promise you we'll be the best team at Lake Placid next February, but we will be the best conditioned. That I can promise you."

The Patriots have to be the best conditioned team in the NFL. No easy way to measure it but eyes tell me when I see which guys are bent over and struggling at the end of a hard fought game, especially linemen on both sides and linebacker corps. Watch for it.
 

j-man

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I think @j-man was just trying to point out that luck was a part of it. I don’t think he has any ill-will towards the Pats. And hey, I have no problem admitting that some moves worked out much better than anyone could have imagined including BB. I’ll take a ton of hard work and an excellent system top to bottom in all facets combined with luck.
yes SMU luck played a part mr kraft even said in 2000 he was a few days from hireing dom capers as coach in 2000 but due to a snowstorm and mr kraft and bill p getting over their diff

and Dick Rehbein pushing to draft brady in 2000
 

sodenj5

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I was actually just thinking about this this morning. I was thinking about Saban and Belichick and how Saban essentially changed the course of maybe NFL and college football history by picking Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees. The answer is Tom Brady.

Belichick is a great coach, maybe the greatest of all time, but look at his approach to roster building. His approach is no one player is above the team and everyone is replaceable. He hit the Powerball by drafting Brady, something that likely no coach will ever replicate again.

Tom Brady has saved Bill Belichick from himself. Belichick hasn’t had to worry about the QB for his team for nearly 20 years. That’s absolutely unprecedented. You can mask an insane amount of deficiencies when Tom Brady is your QB. We’ve seen it over and over again. Bad offensive line? Have Brady throw the ball in 1.5 seconds. Bad receiver? Have Brady throw them open. Bad defense? Have Brady outscore the other team.

Belichick’s track record as a GM and the runner of the draft isn’t amazing either. The one thing that keeps the whole thing glued together is 12.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I was actually just thinking about this this morning. I was thinking about Saban and Belichick and how Saban essentially changed the course of maybe NFL and college football history by picking Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees. The answer is Tom Brady.

Belichick is a great coach, maybe the greatest of all time, but look at his approach to roster building. His approach is no one player is above the team and everyone is replaceable. He hit the Powerball by drafting Brady, something that likely no coach will ever replicate again.

Tom Brady has saved Bill Belichick from himself. Belichick hasn’t had to worry about the QB for his team for nearly 20 years. That’s absolutely unprecedented. You can mask an insane amount of deficiencies when Tom Brady is your QB. We’ve seen it over and over again. Bad offensive line? Have Brady throw the ball in 1.5 seconds. Bad receiver? Have Brady throw them open. Bad defense? Have Brady outscore the other team.

Belichick’s track record as a GM and the runner of the draft isn’t amazing either. The one thing that keeps the whole thing glued together is 12.
You miss the Super Bowl?

Belichick and Brady are great in their own right, but they’re not at these unparalleled heights in terms of sustained success without one another.

Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are awesome/in Brady’s league production and skill-wise. Why have they been to five combined conference title games and two combined Super Bowls when Brady has been to thirteen title games and nine Super Bowls?

I don’t for a minute think that Brady is doing that with another coach out there overseeing the construction and development of every team for like 20 years.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I was actually just thinking about this this morning. I was thinking about Saban and Belichick and how Saban essentially changed the course of maybe NFL and college football history by picking Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees. The answer is Tom Brady.

Belichick is a great coach, maybe the greatest of all time, but look at his approach to roster building. His approach is no one player is above the team and everyone is replaceable. He hit the Powerball by drafting Brady, something that likely no coach will ever replicate again.

Tom Brady has saved Bill Belichick from himself. Belichick hasn’t had to worry about the QB for his team for nearly 20 years. That’s absolutely unprecedented. You can mask an insane amount of deficiencies when Tom Brady is your QB. We’ve seen it over and over again. Bad offensive line? Have Brady throw the ball in 1.5 seconds. Bad receiver? Have Brady throw them open. Bad defense? Have Brady outscore the other team.

Belichick’s track record as a GM and the runner of the draft isn’t amazing either. The one thing that keeps the whole thing glued together is 12.
If you’re going to post the above you need to be able to work through a few things...

1). If the QB is sufficient (an implicit principle) why didn’t other top qbs have similar success?

2). Why wouldn’t we look at Brady’s draft status and first couple years and conclude that BB and staff was a material part of him being an impact nfl starter?

3). When we criticize BB’s roster construction what exactly is that based on and what would “good” look like exactly? No exec is perfect—what’s the standard he is failing that others are satisfying?

4). Ditto the draft record. Don’t say “he missed in x” look at real comps from elsewhere and describe why he isn’t succeeding

Without that kind or thinking it’s just Max Kellerman blathering.
 

axx

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Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are awesome/in Brady’s league production and skill-wise. Why have they been to five combined conference title games and two combined Super Bowls when Brady has been to thirteen title games and nine Super Bowls?
Because they don't play in the shitty AFC East. Not saying that's the biggest factor in the Patriots success, but when one win means the difference between the bye and not getting the bye, it's a big benefit.

Later on in this run, esp once Peyton retied, an underrated portion is most of the healthy QB talent in general ended up in the NFC.
 

Ed Hillel

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Because they don't play in the shitty AFC East. Not saying that's the biggest factor in the Patriots success, but when one win means the difference between the bye and not getting the bye, it's a big benefit.

Later on in this run, esp once Peyton retied, an underrated portion is most of the healthy QB talent in general ended up in the NFC.
Except, as has been stated numerous times here:

1. The 2-4 slots in the AFC East have the best record against non-division opponents of any division in football since 2001, and...

2. The Patriots have been just as dominant (same winning percentage) playing non-AFC East teams as against AFC East teams.

I mean look at the NFC North since Rodgers started 12 years ago. The only SB appearance in those years for the NFC North was their win in 2010.

You need a new argument, sorry :(.
 
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Hendu for Kutch

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Except, as has been stated numerous times here:

1. The 2-4 slots in the AFC East have the best record against non-division opponents of any division in football since 2001, and...

2. The Patriots have been just as dominant (same winning percentage) playing non-AFC East teams as against AFC East teams.

I mean look at the NFC North since Rodgers started 12 years ago. The only SB appearance in those years for the NFC North was their win in 2010.

You need a new argument, sorry :(.
Just to drive that point home, here are each team's records since Rodgers took over in 2008 in both divisions:

Patriots: 134-42
Packers: 106-68-2

Vikings: 93 - 81 - 2
Bears: 84 - 92
Dolphins: 83 - 93
Jets: 79 - 97
Bills: 74 - 102
Lions: 71 - 105

The Bears and Dolphins are about the same, as are the Bills and Lions. So the difference is really Vikings vs Jets. Do you think if you swapped the two teams Rodgers suddenly becomes a bye machine and Brady is playing road playoff games left and right? Does that come remotely close to explaining the 28 win gap in their records over that time?

 

Ed Hillel

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You also have to account for the fact the Patriots are better than Green Bay and thus more likely to hurt their division opponents’ records by beating them. This is going off memory, but the Patriots should also be 10-2 against the NFCN since 2008, I believe. Only losses being @GB in 2014 and @Det this year (woof).
 

Bellhorn

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You also have to account for the fact the Patriots are better than Green Bay and thus more likely to hurt their division opponents’ records by beating them. This is going off memory, but the Patriots should also be 10-2 against the NFCN since 2008, I believe. Only losses being @GB in 2014 and @Det this year (woof).
Yep. 14-2 if you go back to 2006.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Yeah, Brees not playing in the AFC East doesn’t explain 7-9.
Can you specify what year you're talking about? Was it 2007, 2012, 2014, 2015 or 2016? There's a lot of losing season to choose from, not including the 8-8 2008 season.

Imagine if Brady's Patriots even went 9-7, never mind 7-9 and the collective stroke New England and the national media would have. It's amazing how much the Saints seem to skate in terms of national coverage with their great QB and Coach combo and no accountability. The Saints have had 7 winning seasons in the 13 years since Brees got there. In a QB drive league, that's horrendous, as is Green Bay.

Patriots have had zero losing season since Brady got here. Everyone loves to rip the Colts (including me) with Manning, but they had one losing season with Manning. The Saints and the Packers have seemingly pissed away what should have been their best years. Look at the Packers, 3 Super Bowl appearances in 25 years with two HoF QB's and probably a HoF coach (Holmgren) I don't put everything on Super Bowls but the fact that the Packers and Saints in about 40 years combined with their generational QB's have only made the SB 5 times is staggering.

Everyone rips Tomlin and the Steelers as well, who have also wasted a ton of generational talent, but they have the same basic results as the Packers only like 10 less years and less one QB.

Brees is not Brady's peer.
I can't wait til this narrative dies.
Lots of garbage time in those 7-9 seasons to rack up stats when you're playing from behind constantly and not running the ball. Brees has only 3 more TD's than Brady and 62 more INT's.
 
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lexrageorge

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I was actually just thinking about this this morning. I was thinking about Saban and Belichick and how Saban essentially changed the course of maybe NFL and college football history by picking Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees. The answer is Tom Brady.

Belichick is a great coach, maybe the greatest of all time, but look at his approach to roster building. His approach is no one player is above the team and everyone is replaceable. He hit the Powerball by drafting Brady, something that likely no coach will ever replicate again.

Tom Brady has saved Bill Belichick from himself. Belichick hasn’t had to worry about the QB for his team for nearly 20 years. That’s absolutely unprecedented. You can mask an insane amount of deficiencies when Tom Brady is your QB. We’ve seen it over and over again. Bad offensive line? Have Brady throw the ball in 1.5 seconds. Bad receiver? Have Brady throw them open. Bad defense? Have Brady outscore the other team.

Belichick’s track record as a GM and the runner of the draft isn’t amazing either. The one thing that keeps the whole thing glued together is 12.
There's a number of things wrong about this post, in particular the bolded.

It is true that some of Belichick has had some bad drafts. Like most every GM, he's had great (2001, 2003, 2010, 2012), good (2002, 2004, 2005, 2011, 2013, 2015), middling (2006, 2008, 2009, 2014), and bad drafts (2007, 2016, first 5 rounds of 2000). [I'll give incompletes to 2017 and 2018 for various reasons, mostly due to injury].

However, there is a lot to roster building that goes well beyond drafting in general, and finding a QB specifically. He signed Gilmour to ostensibly replace Malcolm Butler. He let Dion Lewis walk to replace him with White and Michel. The OL has been really good these past couple of seasons. 3 of the starters (Cannon, Thuney, Mason) were Pats draft picks; one a UDFA; and another a shrewd FA trade with the 49'ers. He brought in Jason McCourty when conventional wisdom was that he was done.

Also, I think some of the "Belichick is a bad drafter" comes from the failure of some of his higher picks. Aaron Dobson, Jordan Richards, Cyrus Jones, Easley, and even Malcom Brown never lived up to their draft slots. Jamie Collins did for a while, but then got traded and was recently cut from the Browns. But that tired, Felger style meme misses the success of some of the lower picks from those same drafts: Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, James White, Cameron Fleming, Trey Flowers, Shaq Mason, and Joe Thuney; even Darryl Roberts, Elandon Roberts and Joe Cardona have provided positive value when you consider their respective draft slots.

His imperfect roster held one of the league's top scoring offenses to 3 points in the Super Bowl; that had nothing to do with Brady.

Yes, Brady helps cover up a lot of faults with the roster, as does Belichick's coaching. But Belichick the GM is no slouch either.