Colin Cowherd thinks Bill Belichick is no longer an NFL trend-setter

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We’ve entered the phase of the NFL news cycle where media pundits are wondering if the New England Patriots are good anymore.

Though New England went 10-7 and lost in the first-round of the playoffs — appearing to be a team on the rise — the roster and coaching turnover has left many wondering whether the Patriots will actually regress in 2022.

FOX Sports One pundit Colin Cowherd suggested just that.

“The Patriots are somewhere in the middle — like, I don’t get it, but I kind of do and I don’t want any part of it,” Cowherd said during his show on Tuesday. “Which is: They don’t have an offensive coordinator. They have, probably next to Green Bay, the weakest wide receiving corps in the league, as the league pivots and transitions to a more weapons-based league because of rules (and) regulations on what you can do defensively.

“… You become a 1979 NFL team. You have to score on long, ball-controlling drives. Kansas City can do that. And so can Buffalo and the Chargers and the Rams and the Packers, but they can also score quickly.

“New England has very little chance to go over the top, make plays with their feet, a super fast wide receiver beats coverage. They can score one way, they’re not going to win shootouts regularly, they already can’t get Josh Allen off the field. The last time they played, he didn’t punt in his 10 possessions — eight, 10, 11, whatever it was. So, like, I don’t get it.”

So here’s the question: Is Cowherd pointing out exactly what shows that Belichick is setting a trend? Has Belichick built this bruising, ball-control offense in an effort to zig while the NFL zags with their skinny but explosive playmakers?

The NFL, as a whole, is getting lighter. The Patriots might be trending that way on defense, but on offense, they seem interested in staying big and brutish. Is that Belchick’s answer: pummel the NFL for its lack of size?

Maybe.

We’ll get the answer in 2022.

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