04 Mar 2005
Dr. Z looks at teams that dominated the NFL for long periods throughout its history. What caused each of these teams to fall from its perch atop the NFL, and what lesson does that hold for the Patriots? It won't shock you that aging players are the leading destroyer of dynasties, but one aging player in particular: the quarterback. The 50s Lions fell apart when Bobby Layne got old, the 60s Packers when Bart Starr got old, the 70s Steelers when Terry Bradshaw got old, the 90s Cowboys when Troy Aikman got old. The 49ers avoided this problem thanks to Steve Young. I guess this serves as more ammunition for those who feel that Tom Brady is the heart and soul of the Patriots.
As far as the other positions, the Patriots are doing a good job of mixing in new young players with their veterans each year. Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Eugene Wilson, and even guys like P.K. Sam will determine the future of this team. Truth be told, the Patriots are fairly young at every position except for running back and linebacker, and I have a feeling that second one will change as of April 25.
1 comment, Last at 22 Jul 2005, 8:40am by Nick
Our offseason Four Downs series ends with a look at the NFC West's biggest remaining holes and their most notable UDFA signings. The Rams and 49ers have to kick-start their passing games, Arizona's offense lacks a big dimension, and the Seahawks continue to rely on Russell Wilson's magic tricks.