The New England Patriots, who look as bad as they ever have this century, barely beat the winless New York Jets on ESPN last night. They were, in fact, outplayed by a paltry Gang Green squad for most of the game. Only egregious end-of-game management by Adam Gase and Co. allowed the Patriots to walk away with the win. Joe Flacco tore the defense apart and nearly ruined the Tank Job, as it was predicted a few weeks ago. It was a win in the truest sense of the word, but should not and will not be, used as a sign that New England is getting back on track.
This is not exactly what some thought might happen. The Tom Brady vs Bill Belichick debate will probably never be answered, but those on the coach's side of things had faith he could coach the Patriots to competency. That's not exactly what's happened.
The lack of depth across the roster, and especially at the skill positions, has proven too difficult to overcome and no New England unit has played well for long stretches. As it so happens, even the greatest coach of all time can only do so much.
The situation does not seem poised to get any better, either. The Patriots aren't good but they aren't nearly bad enough to earn a top-three pick in the draft next year, which means they're out on any of the top quarterback prospects barring a trade. Cam Newton looked better against the Jets than he has recently, but still not good enough to indicate he's a good long-term fit. Jarrett Stidham is not the answer, either.
To whit, Colin Cowherd suggested that this upcoming offseason could be the best opportunity Belichick has to get out of New England and take over a better situation with a young star quarterback.
The crux of Cowherd's argument is there are at least two teams primed to select a top QB in the draft who will need a new head coach next offseason: Jacksonville and New York. The AFC East, presuming the Jets will hold on to the No. 1 overall pick, will be stacked with young QB talent between Trevor Lawrence, Josh Allen, and Tua Tagovailoa. The Patriots are not poised to suddenly get better anytime soon. Cowherd also says, men, in general, do not have good exit strategies, and Bill let the opportunity pass last offseason, so he should take it this offseason.
Logically, it makes some sense. But Belichick will never leave New England. He will never have the same amount of power and influence as he does in Foxborough. Sure, some team could promise him complete control, but it wouldn't amount to the same thing as being the top dog in an organization for literally two decades. There isn't a single member of the football department at Gillette Stadium who entered the building without a thorough vetting from Belichick himself. It has taken a long time for Belichick to build what he has in New England. He isn't going to leave because one season went poorly.
Plus, the man is 68-years-old. It feels unlikely he wants to move and set up shop somewhere else for five years before calling it a career. The Patriots as a whole is what he envisioned to accomplish in his career, even if 2020 isn't working out so great thus far. Belichick does not seem the type to abandon his creation the moment it isn't going perfectly. If that was the case, he would have left a long time ago. Belichick isn't going anywhere, regardless of his gender-specific exit strategy skills.