As the Delaware Valley basks in the glow of getting that King Kong-sized monkey extracted from their backs, one of the added perks of the Eagles' Super Bowl win is who it came against. That's right, The Hoodie, Tom Terrific and the Evil Empire.
Revenge is a dish best served cold and Doug Pederson and Nick Foles were cooler than the sub-zero temperatures outside U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. But did the Eagles' win spell the end of the Patriots' dynasty? Let's explore:
Let's be real clear, this is not about performance. Brady won NFL MVP at the age of 40. What he's doing at his age in his sport is unheard of. The question is: How much longer does he want to do this?
Brady is fanatical about everything from his diet to proper sleep, conditioning with his personal trainer, etc. But at what point does he say to himself, 'I'm good, there's nothing left to prove?' Five rings, the G.O.A.T. title and Gisele money? Last but not least, the physical beatings he's endured through 18 NFL seasons.
It's been perhaps the greatest player-coach-owner run in sports history. But are there cracks? ESPN had a detailed story prior to the playoffs chronicling a rift between the trifecta. Ego has brought down many a high-ranking man or conglomeration. Think Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson. Belichick, like Brady, is widely considered the best who's ever done it. But at 65 years old and having won seven rings as both a head coach and assistant, how much more grind does he have left in him?
Matt Patricia out
Although Josh McDaniels had a change of heart and will be staying on as the offensive coordinator and not taking the Colts' head-coaching gig, defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has accepted the Lions job. Belichick has lost many an assistant over the years and did just fine, but one additional move needs to be made.
Rob Gronkowski did not shoot down a report after the Super Bowl that he is considering retiring. Gronk is only 28 and when on the field, he is as dominant at his position as anyone in football. But keep in mind, he has had nine reported surgeries since his last season in college. Four on his forearm, three on his back, one knee and one ankle. Not to mention the concussion he suffered in the AFC Championship game this season. He too has won rings and made a lot of dough. Stepping away may not be that far-fetched.
Here are some of the key contributors to this year's Patriots team that will be hitting the free agent market: CB Malcolm Butler, OT Nate Solder, WR Danny Amendola, RB Dion Lewis, DT Ricky Jean-Francois, LB Marquis Flowers and LB James Harrison.
What does all this mean?
Look, if we've learned one thing about Brady and Belichick, they are like the villain in a horror flick, they can be shot, stabbed, run-over, thrown in a shallow grave, but you better make sure they're dead. If not, don't count them out.
But wouldn't it be sweet if the Eagles were the ones to end the dynasty?