CEOs: Why Belichick and the Patriots Lost the Super Bowl

February 9, 2012

Last Friday, I wrote a blog before the Super Bowl weekend titled “What CEOs Can Learn From Bill Belichick.”



This week I wanted to write about why  Belichick and the Patriots lost the Super Bowl despite being the top seed in the AFC with a better record than the NY Giants. The Patriots did not lose because Wes Welker did not catch the “pass” from Tom Brady, regardless of what Gisele thinks.

The Patriots lost for one reason, and one reason only:

They were not the best team on the field.

On Sunday, the Giants had the more talented team, top to bottom. That talent manifested itself in the balance the team had between the offense and the defense, unlike the New England Patriots.


All season long the weakness for the Patriots was their defense, which Bill Belichick and everyone else knew then and know now. They did not have the balance they needed. If a good defense stopped their offense, their defense could not win a game for them. Their defense did not help them in the first quarter, their defense let them down at the end of the game, and the Giants’ defense stopped Tom Brady and the Patriot offense at the end of the game. I am not a Patriots or Giants fan … I am a Green Bay Packers fan. This is also exactly why the Packers also lost to the Giants.


I guarantee Bill Belichick and the Patriots will not show up with the same defense next year. If they want to get back to the Super Bowl and win it, they have to get better talent on the defensive side of the ball. Belichick and his team know this.


So CEOs, think long and hard about your team. You may have had a good year, but ask yourself if you really have the best team across all the operational areas of your business: Development, Product Management, Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, Finance and Professional Services (if it is part of your business model). Make your team ask themselves the same question about their teams.


If you want to be a great company year in and year out you need to have the best team possible… and that means your team needs to change every year because every year is different. It’s what the great companies do.

All the best!














Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.