Though the Patriots playoff standing and opponent is still to be determined, the Patriots are returning to the playoffs for the first time since the 2019-20 season, and for the first time since Tom Brady‘s departure.
The Patriots success comes just one year after the team missed the playoffs with a 7-9 record led by veteran quarterback Cam Newton for a single season. Newton was beat out by rookie QB Mac Jones in this year’s preseason. Jones has had a successful rookie campaign under center for the Pats, leading many to proclaim him as the presumptive Rookie of the Year and the reason for the Patriots return to form.
Though Mac Jones has been credited with much of the Patriots success, the Patriots defense is often credited with setting Jones up for that success. The Patriots defense had a down year last season, but returned to form this season to boast one of the top ranked defenses in the NFL, led by star cornerback JC Jackson.
Despite the success the team has had on the field, one cannot overlook the presence of longtime Patriots head coach and general manager Bill Belichick on the sideline.
Belichick, though long associated with Brady and their six Super Bowl wins, has been able to reignite the success of the Patriots dynasty in his first season with Jones, adding to a successful coaching career many say is the greatest of all time and one that may be having another act with his young star QB.
All this begs the question: Who is responsible for the Patriots making the playoffs? Would you say Mac Jones, the Pats defense, or Belichick? Or could it be someone else? We want to know who you think should be credited for the Patriots heading to the playoffs, and what plays or games throughout the season helped them get to Week 18. Let us know in the survey below or e-mail us at [email protected], and we may feature your response in an upcoming story.