Although there is no denying the Kansas City Chiefs are the overwhelming favorites for the Super Bowl, as they should be, I believe the Cleveland Browns will defeat them on route to the AFC Championship.
Far-Fetched Friday: Tom Brady Wins Super Bowl Before Bill Belichick
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This week our Far-Fetched Friday is a reaction to one of the biggest free agency moves in NFL history: Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In what the NBA does well in player movement, the NFL seems to be the exact opposite. The NBA sees stars regularly change franchises, while the NFL leaves all the power to the owners. LeBron's move from Cleveland to Miami in 2010 forever changed the face of NBA free agency, and this Tom Brady move might do the same.
In a race against time, Tom Brady has a golden chance to silence the Belichick or Brady argument by winning a Super Bowl without Bill Belichick. I for one think that argument is overblown, but people have it, and Tom Brady and Bill Belichick must both feel like they have a point to prove.
Minor side-note, Bill Belichick had a career record of 36 and 44 with only one postseason appearance in five years before drafting Tom Brady, but whatever.
After 20 years, 9 Conference Championships, and 6 Super Bowls, it seems the Patriot-Way caught up to Tom Brady before father-time did. The Patriots, notorious for their willingness to depart from their stars, ultimately decided to do the same with Tom Brady. There had been rumors of a rift between Brady and Belichick dating back to the trade of Jimmy Garopollo's in 2017, and 2015 with the Deflategate scandal.
With the two sides now parted, there's a race to the Super Bowl that heavily favors Bill Belichick.
For one, Bill Belichick at 67, is expected to coach for at least another half-decade. Brady on the other hand - who turns 43 in the offseason - signed a two year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has expressed wanting to retire at age 45, which comes right at the end of his new contract. That means if Tom Brady fails to win a Super Bowl over the next two seasons, he will lose the debate.
The last time we saw the Patriots without Tom Brady was in 2008 after Brady tore his ACL in the first game of the season. Belichick took back-up quarterback Matt Cassel to an 11 and 5 season but still missed the playoffs.
If you're keeping count, that means in Belichick's seven seasons, without Brady as his starting quarterback, he has only made the playoffs once. 1 in 7 years.
When you consider that the Patriots do not have a quarterback going forward, it starts to look like Tom Brady should be favored here. Then you look at the roster the Buccaneers have, and it becomes clear that Brady might have an opportunity to beat out Belichick.
During Brady's 20 years in New England, he only had five seasons where he had more than one receiver reach 1,000 yards. In comparison, there were seven seasons where he had no receivers reach a thousand yards. This was a direct result of Belichick's refusal to spend on the offensive side of the ball. Brady's two all-time leading wide receivers are Julian Edelman - a college quarterback - and Wes Welker, an undrafted receiver that had three seasons totaling one touchdown before arriving in New England.
What did Brady have to rely on last season? A 33-year-old Julian Edelman.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay had two of the leading receivers in the NFL last season with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin both well over a thousand yards. Godwin at 24, and Evans at 26, are the type of young receivers Brady needs to lead the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl Trophy.
Last season, the Buccaneers finished with a 7 and 9 record despite Jameis Winston's 30 interceptions. Brady will not throw 30 interceptions, and his expert decision making will make all the difference. You take into account rumors that other elite free agents are looking to follow Brady to Tampa, and you have a favorable situation. His experience will lead the Buccaneers to a minimum of 10 wins and a playoff berth in each of the next two seasons.
My official Far-Fetched Friday prediction is that Tom Brady will win a Super Bowl before Bill Belichick.
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