Sportress of Blogitude

Bills GM Brandon Beane: Patriots still ‘team to beat’ in AFC East

The general consensus around the NFL is that if there has ever been a time that the New England Patriots have appeared vulnerable in the past two decades, it’s now. Just don’t tell that to Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane.

The presumption that the Patriots’ dynastic run is nearing its end of course is spawned almost solely by the departure of Tom Brady, who has joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after six Super Bowl victories and three MVP awards.

However, something the naysayers and cynics are somehow forgetting is how the Patriots are still overseen by one Bill Belichick, who boasts the third-most regular-season victories in NFL history.

Beane appears to not be in the camp of doubters, though, as he recently stated that until some team knocks them off, the Patriots are the toast of the AFC East.

“Candidly, I did not expect Tom (Brady) to leave the (Patriots),” Beane said, per Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. “… New England’s still going to be very good. I think it’s funny, comical that people are writing them off. The team to beat in the East is the Patriots.”

The Patriots without question face the unenviable task of replacing arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. If there is one thing Belichick relishes, though, is showcasing how he’s always the savviest coach whenever he steps foot on a field.

Not only that, one has to think Belichick would like nothing better than to prove he can win without Brady.

All that being said, the Bills have nevertheless been touted by many NFL insiders as the team to beat in the AFC East next season. Even the Miami Dolphins are being mentioned as potential contenders in the division.

Again, it arguably wouldn’t be wise to prematurely declare the Patriots as also-rans. After all, since 2001 — incidentally the year Brady ascended to starter, it merits noting — the Patriots have been crowned AFC East champions in a stupefying 17 of 19 seasons. Belichick and the Patriots are not about to go down without a fight, even if outsiders believe the dynasty is dead.