As good as the NFC North is going to be next year, the Bears should be grateful they aren’t in a division with the New England Patriots, a team who won a tough AFC East division and are dominating the NFL while rebuilding. Kristian R. Dyer comments at The New York Times:
“In its two-deep, New England counts 6 starters and 21 players total with fewer than three years in the N.F.L. This makes them the youngest A.F.C. team in this year’s playoffs.”
This a result of an interesting apparent philosophy:
“Dave Shonka, a former scout with the Eagles, Redskins and Chiefs, said: ‘Quality depth management is a Patriot technical term for throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. With misses like first- and second-rounders such as Laurence Maroney and Chad Jackson, playing the numbers game is less expensive. Of course, all this roster management would not be possible without a sixth-round pick in the 2000 draft named Tom Brady –- he was a noodle that stuck on the wall.’”
But that’s not all:
“The future for the Patriots looks awfully bright. They hold six picks in the first three rounds of the draft; the Jets hold two in those rounds. With nine picks next April, New England is poised to add even more young talent.”
I’m really proud of what the Bears coaching staff has accomplished this year, especially Mike Tice who has apparently done an incredible job with a young offensive line. If the staff stays together, it bodes well for the future.
But these guys have got nothing on Bill Belichick. The current state of the New England Patriots is nothing short of amazing. The Bears are eventually going to suffer. Many of their impact players are aging and they simply haven’t drafted well enough to guarantee sustain success. It’s hard to do.
In contrast, I’ve never seen a healthier franchise than the Patriots, who dominated the Bears three weeks ago and who have been generally dominating everyone this season. We truly are witnessing one of the rarest things in sports – the beginnings of a true dynasty. Thank goodness the Bears don’t have to play them twice a year.