The New England Patriots Secret to Success

Sports Editor Marty Keane gives a rundown on what he believes is the recipe for success for the New England Patriots.


Sunday night, during the second quarter of the Patriot’s AFC Championship game against the Steelers, the Patriot’s offense was rolling. On a first down play, Tom Brady calmly handed the ball off to running back Dion Lewis, who then flipped it back to Brady who hit a streaking Chris Hogan in the endzone. It was the perfect time for a play flea flicker, called by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

This play was the perfect example of why the New England Patriots have completely dominated football ever since the turn of the century. They’re roster is full of players overlooked, undrafted, cut, traded, and doubted by every other team. But when these players find their way to Foxborough, they are another success story.

Legendary coach Bill Belichick has an eye for talent that is unmatched. He can sign players cut by other teams and they’ll be productive. Or he can take one of his own stars and trade them, only to have the next man up do an equal or better job.

Chris Hogan is a perfect example. He had been cut by four teams before being signed by the Patriots. He was a plug-and-go star. He led the NFL in yards per catch at 17.9, and finished with 9 catches, 180 yards, and 2 touchdowns against the Steelers.

Or there’s the dynamic running back Dion Lewis who set a playoff record as the only player to catch, run, and return a touchdown in one game. He too has been cut and traded by multiple teams. The Patriots are now 16-0 in games where he plays.

Another star of the game was tight end Martellus Bennet. In his career, he’s bounced around from team to team. He was labelled “locker room poison” and seemingly, was always involved in controversies. But he was traded to the Patriots and has replaced the league’s best tight end, Rob Gronkowski, during an injury and has flourished. Best of all, he’s been nothing but laughs in the locker room.

But what separates the Patriots from other teams is how they truly are a business. The franchise’s number one priority is winning. And if that means letting a star player walk because they want too much money, they’ll do it.

After winning their last super bowl, the Patriot’s front office let all-pro corner Darell Revis walk in free agency for more money. He was replaced by the undrafted Malcom Butler who had made the memorable super bowl saving interception. Butler proved to be more than a one-hit-wonder and made the pro bowl the next year.

In the previous offseason, the Patriots shocked everyone by trading their outstanding defensive end, Chandler Jones. However, in classic Patriots fashion, the replacement, Trey Flowers, stepped up huge. He led the team in sacks and has become a force on defense.

This whole team is built on players doubted by the whole league who have blossomed into stars. These players are why the Patriots have sustained such dominance and this is why they’re going to yet another Super Bowl.