Super Bowl 53: What’s next for Patriots?

first_imgNew England has done it again.The Patriots picked up their second title in three years and sixth overall, tying the Steelers for the most championships with a 13-3 victory over the Rams in Super Bowl 53 on Sunday. Tom Brady sealed his status as the G.O.A.T., while wide receiver Julian Edelman earned MVP honors and the Patriots’ defenders were also praised for their dominating efforts. But you better believe it will be back to business as usual in true Bill Belichick fashion next week once the celebrations are over.Here we break down what’s next for the Patriots as they regroup and plan for the 2019 season.Dynasty on the decline?If you watched Sunday’s game, you didn’t just watch the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history. You also watched the Patriots reach their peak.New England has dominated the NFL since Brady cemented himself as the starter in Super Bowl 36 at the conclusion of the 2001 season, winning nine AFC titles and six Super Bowls in 18 years. But it could be argued that a light schedule and questionable officiating worked in the Patriots’ favor to help them get to their third straight championship appearance. Just ask any Chiefs or Saints fan.Sure, the Patriots will probably make it back to another Super Bowl in the next few seasons before Brady nears 45 and decides to retire. But his age and the team’s exposure are slowly allowing young franchises on the rise to get into position to usher in a new era.Gronk ready to ride off into the sunset?The veteran tight end was unwilling to discuss his future after winning a third Super Bowl with the Patriots, probably because he knows retirement is around the corner.Since last year, rumors have persisted around Gronkowski, who turns 30 in May. He told reporters after the game he would make his decision “in a week or two” ahead of any official announcement, and it’s hard to imagine him returning for a 10th NFL season after he battled numerous injuries in recent years, including back and hamstring ailments that forced him to miss three games this season.But first, Gronkowski will do what he does best and party like it’s 1999. Expect beer chugging and can smashing galore during Tuesday’s championship parade in Boston.Brady will be backBrady put the retirement questions to rest before the Super Bowl even began, denying the 2018 season would be his last regardless of the outcome, and the ageless wonder remains set on following through. “I’ve set a goal for myself at 45,” Brady said last week. “Like I’ve said before, it’s very hard to make it that far. I know how hard it was this year and the commitment it takes. I think it’s just, I’m going to know when the time is right (to retire). And I’m going to feel like, I’ve kind of had enough. I don’t quite feel like that yet. … I still feel like I can continue to do it at a championship level.”Brady completed 21 of his 35 passes for 262 yards with an interception in New England’s win. While he didn’t throw a touchdown, he did set up the team’s game-winning score with a perfect pass to Gronkowski.At this point in his career, why would Brady not pad his already impressive resume while he’s still playing at an elite level?last_img

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