Listen, I understand it has only been 3 games in a very long NFL season, but just hear me out. By no means am I saying that this team is the best team ever, I'm simply saying that they have the potential to be.
I understand that I am a Patriots fan, but I don't think I'm going too far in saying that the Patriots have put some of the best teams ever on the field. The 2004 Patriots were one of the best overall teams the NFL has ever seen, and it resulted in a Lombardi trophy. However, many would argue that the 2007 Patriots were even better, the season just did not end like they planned.
With the "Kill 'Em All Tour" last year the Patriots started the season 10-0 and had people talking about the possibility of another 16-0 season. However, the injury-plagued Patriots would end the season with a 12-4 record and a loss to Denver in the AFC Championship game. No doubt a major disappointment for the Patriots players and fans alike.
For some reason, Belichick always seems to respond positively after losing a key game to Peyton Manning. The most recent example being a Super Bowl victory the season after losing to Manning and the Broncos in the playoffs in 2013. This is clearly just speculation, but according to history, the Patriots should make some noise this year.
Before this season, a 2-2 or even 1-3 start would not have been a big surprise without Tom Brady at the helm. However, the combination of Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett have led the Patriots to a perfect 3-0 start. With 10 days to prepare for Rex Ryan and the Bills, it is certainly a possibility that they start 4-0, nullifying the entire Deglategate saga.
The reason I think this team has the potential to be the greatest ever is the fact they they are missing so many key pieces, yet continue to win. It was always in the back of people's minds that Garoppolo could get injured, but that nightmare became a reality in game 2 vs the Dolphins. The Patriots would now be starting the backup to the backup, but it wouldn't matter.
Last night, The Patriots defeated the Texans 27-0 at home. Even with a full team, that would be a great victory, but the absence of so many difference makers makes the win all the more impressive.
The Patriots played last night's game without Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, Dion Lewis, Dont'a Hightower, Rob Ninkovich and the real Rob Gronkowski, who had 0 catches. Even without those offensive and defensive weapons, the Patriots still managed to put up 27 points and shutout the Texans offense.
No one outside New England had the Patriots winning this game. Even some New England fans were saying that they needed Gronk if they even had a prayer of competing. As usual, Belichick surprised all of us and the Patriots won going away in one of the least competitive games in a while.
The scary thing about this team is that they are currently 3-0 and they are going to get exponentially better over the next few weeks. They will get back QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski, RB Dion Lewis, defensive captain Dont'a Hightower and veteran DE Rob Ninkovich. Even with all these players out, the Patriots haven't skipped a beat, and it's hard to think anyone in the AFC can take them down once they're playing with a full squad.
It is obviously far too early to call this team the greatest ever, but you have to acknowledge the potential for them to achieve that. They are beating good teams with their 1(a) team, and there is nowhere to go but up.
We all know from the '07 Patriots and '15 Warriors that the regular season means nothing unless you finish the job and win the championship. 16-0 is a very unfair expectation for any football team, and fans shouldn't be disappointed if they dont achieve that feat. 14-2 or 13-3 with a trophy is a hell of a lot better than 16-0 with nothing to show for it. If this team can pull off a Super Bowl victory, there will be chatter about this team being the greatest ever.
By Matt Watts