Despite the loss of Tom Brady and what many have predicted to be a down season–by New England Patriots‘ standards–in 2020, the six-time Super Bowl champion franchise is still the most hated team in the NFL, per a recent NFL survey.
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The Survey Says
According to a recent NFL survey on SB Nation, fans of most teams in the NFL still list the Patriots as ‘public enemy No. 1,” and the most-hated team in the NFL. Bernd Buchmasser of Pats Pulpit wrote:
If other teams enjoy more success, they will become more hated. For the time being, however, New England still sits atop that mountain. The latest numbers compiled by SB Nation’s Reacts survey confirm this. Fans across the league were asked who they would view as their respective teams’ biggest rivals, and the Patriots were frequently mentioned regardless of divisional affiliation: one in four NFL fans sees Belichick’s club as a rival, with the raw numbers themselves painting an even clearer picture.
Obviously, AFC East teams will see the Patriots as their arch-rivals. After all, the Patriots have won 11 consecutive division titles. The grip on the division is unlike anything you’ll see in most sports. So much of the dominance might have been tied to Brady’s presence, or maybe it was the combination of him and Belichick together.
In any case, one half of that team is gone, yet the Patriots still top the hated list.
Why Do Teams Still Fear and Hate the Patriots?
There was something endearing about the Patriots turning over the reins to second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Perhaps it was inviting because most expected to see him struggle and that would force the team to look vulnerable.
In steps, former NFL MVP Cam Newton, a man who has drawn his share of hate from people all around the league, and now the Patriots might not be as vulnerable and lovable as possible. Most of what people say about Newton is a myth as this post sorts out, but that doesn’t make it any less present:
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#CamNewton #PatriotsNation #Patriots NFL Experts on Cam Newton: Pats Pulpit's Bernd Buchmasser "As a pure passer, however, Newton has not been in the same category as of late because that is not what his skillset is. As noted above, he is at his best when working a quick attack that builds on his rhythm and decision making — something former Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner recognized when he arrived in Carolina in 2018. Turner adapted the team’s offense to take advantage of his quarterback’s strengths, and that meant fewer deep passing attempts and a focus on the short and intermediate parts of the field. Sound familiar?" Former Auburn Coach Gene Chizik: “When Cam gets into the building, he’s all business, he’s a football dude. He loves it, he eats it up, he studies the game – it matters to him. So, he’ll adapt and adjust. What Bill wants — he wants a guy to come into the building and is all football. How he cares about the way he dresses and what he wears – I don’t know. Now, Cam will be on point in the messaging. Whatever Bill’s message is, he will make it clear that is the expectation for what Cam’s message is. So, although it seems like it’s oil and water because you got this one conservative guy who lives by the motto of ‘the less you say the less you have to take back,’ I still think that he’s all about the football grind and he wants football guys and I think that’s what attracted him to Cam. So I think it’s going to work better than most people think. It’s a win-win for New England. If Cam comes in there and he becomes anything close to the 2015 MVP that he was, it’s a win. And I think that’s all Bill cares about. I think when Cam gets into the building, they’ll be on the same page.” USA Today's Steven Ruiz on Cam's Charisma: "Cam is gonna win over the Patriots locker room in about 5 seconds. The most charismatic QB in the league." Former Patriot and ESPN analyst Damien Woody: If Cam is healthy, the Patriots will be "unlike anything we've seen in 20 years of Bill Belichick being in New England. He's never had an offensive weapon like Cam Newton."
Let’s also not forget about the cheating scandals. Whether its Spygate, Deflategate, or the most recent infraction that involved filming the Cincinnati Bengals’ sideline, the Patriots have been involved in enough dirt to feed the haters.
There is nothing Patriots haters would prefer to see happen than a crash landing during a troubling 2020 season. Obviously, Belichick and Co. would prefer to continue to give the haters more fuel for their envy.
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