What will happen to the Patriots?

Tom Brady competed in the Super Bowl again last Sunday, and this prediction was written prior to the end of the game: the New England Patriots will win.

It is the story that seems to keep repeating itself, but seems to never end. There has never been a longer stretch of drama surrounding a NFL team like the Patriots.

Starting with the Deflategate scandal two years ago, Brady was accused of deflating footballs to throw it farther and catch it easier in order to win the AFC Championship over the Colts. He went on to win the 2015 Super Bowl against the Seahawks 28-24, but was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season.

The Patriots didn’t bring home the 2016 Lombardi Trophy.

The 2017 Super Bowl pushed Brady to his limit. Facing a deficit of 28-3 halfway through the third quarter, the Patriots managed to score five more touchdowns with two two-point conversions to defeat Falcons 34-28 in overtime, which was the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

This season was the most drama-filled by far. The Patriots are crumbling internally, according to all of the media speculation that was reported this year despite Brady and head coach Bill Belichick’s commitment to stay in the NFL much longer.

It began with Brady’s backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, being traded to the 49ers. What quarterback would they have if Brady retired or was injured? Without a plan in sight, the trade could be a sign that Belichick could be heading somewhere else.

Along with that, Brady’s athletic trainer Alex Guerrero, who also helps other team players even though they have an official training staff already, was denied access to treat anyone besides Brady in the confines of Guerrero’s office by Belichick.

Some assistant coaches are looking to part ways following this season to take on head coaching jobs on other teams. Even the owner Robert Kraft may sell the team after this year.

A lot of the Patriots drama can blamed on the media speculation, but it also ties back to the emotionlessness of Belichick.

In press conferences, the head coach is known for giving very short and vague answers to questions.

Brady had a gash on his hand going into the AFC Championship game against the Jaguars that required stitches.

When a reporter asked Belichick if he was going to start new backup Brian Hoyer over Brady for that game, all he said was, “Today is Friday.”

When Brady attended the press conference prior to the game, he wore football gloves to hide his injury and left the media freaking out.

The Patriots alone have too much drama to keep with, let alone the NFL itself. From the kneel protest to Ezekiel Elliott’s on-and-off suspension, unneccessary penalties and increasingly vicious hits, fans are annoyed by the relentless drama.

According to the New York Daily News, some players from the retired 2005 Eagles  team look back to the former Super Bowl matchup and think that the Patriots spied on their defensive signals and/or playbook.

This is not a farfetched idea, considering two years later Belichick was given the maximum individual fine of $500,000 for videotaping the New York Jets defensive coordinators’ signals: dubbed Spygate.

On the other hand, the only drama that surrounded the Philadelphia Eagles this season was star quarterback Carson Wentz getting injured for the season after tearing his ACL.

Wentz was on his way to being a strong MVP candidate until his injury. With only 13 games played by him this season, he still received two of 50 MVP votes. Brady won with 40 of the votes.

Wentz is strong MVP candidate for next year, and has helped his backup Nick Foles a great deal The two are always spotted together on the bench, reviewing plays right after they happen.

Regardless of the outcome of Super Bowl 52, the Patriots dynasty will be in serious question.

What will happen to the Patriots after this game? Could Brady actually stay in the NFL for another 10 years?