The Patriots have won two of the last three Super Bowls and all is right with the world. But slowly, my focus has shifted to the 2017 season and just what is at stake.
New England cemented their dynasty in 2004 by winning three-out-of-four Super Bowls and now are staring down the opportunity to do it again, 13 years later. I found myself looking back at the 2004 America’s Game episode above and remembering how the crown jewel of the NFL stayed focused and hungry enough to repeat as champions.
It sure won’t be easy. The target on the Patriots’ backs will be even bigger in 2017 than it was in 2004, as if we ever thought that would be possible. Any bit of the mystique that they lost in Super Bowl defeats or other season-enders is very much gone. That’s what overcoming a 25-point hole on the biggest of stages can do. If the Pats lacked the magic in 2007 and 2011, they certainly got it back in 2014 and 2016, and now they could put their franchise into another stratosphere by winning Super Bowl 52. And there are 31 teams that will be dying for a shot at them.
Here are my thoughts on what the 2004 did right and how the 2017 Patriots can learn from their successful season.