So far this season, we've found out something that we should have already known after watching the NFL for the past 15 years: the Patriots are bigger than one man.

So far this season, we’ve found out something that we should have already known after watching the NFL for the past 15 years: the Patriots are bigger than one man.

Here we are, three games into the season, and Tom Brady hasn’t thrown a single pass. He hasn’t received a single snap, chewed out a single ref or spiked a single football into the turf.

He’s been chilling at home with Gisele. Maybe he’s been having Papa John’s pizza parties with Peyton. Maybe he’s been watching his Michigan Wolverines go undefeated, or maybe he has been playing catch with his sons.

Who’s knows? But whatever he’s doing, he’s not playing quarterback for the Patriots. But so far, it hasn’t mattered. The Patriots are 3-0 and looking like the best team in the league.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there will be a time when the Patriots need Brady. That time will be once November rolls around, once the playoffs loom.

That’s when they’ll need arguably the greatest quarterback of all time and his four-Super Bowl pedigree to be behind center leading them through the gauntlet that is the NFL postseason.

But as we’ve seen for so many years, New England can win regular season games without him because that’s just the “Patriot way.”

Bill Belichick is the evil genius behind the team that people love to hate. He is like Darth Sidious, donning his hoody and building a powerful empire that has flaunted its superiority over the rest of the league for over a decade—relying on the muscle of the greatest, most intimidating dark warrior in the galaxy.

Belichick’s name can be used in the same sentence as Vince Lombardi and Bill Walsh.

He has built a machine that has never been about one part but the sum of all its parts.

In his tenure, the franchise has drafted phenomenally well, and they’ve made tremendous free agent moves. They’ve brought guys in that buy into what Belichick continues to sell without a second thought.

Even when they’ve taken chances and brought in players like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss—guys that had been accused of being malcontents—they became model citizen’s in his regime. It was no longer about them; it was about the team.

But as long as Belichick is behind the controls, it really doesn’t matter who’s scoring the touchdowns. He doesn’t need high-profile talents to win.

He and Brady won two Super Bowls with a receiving corps that included Troy Brown and David Givens, and another with the help of Deion Branch.

Other than Dillon, the Patriots haven’t had a Pro Bowl running back during their run to six Super Bowls.

When things go awry, they just plug in another good soldier and keep marching along. It’s next man up in New England.

That has been painstakingly obvious through these first three games.

With Brady out as he serves his four-game “Deflategate” suspension, many were wondering if the Patriots could at least go 2-2 with backup Jimmy Garoppolo during that period.

They have taken that a step further. They went 2-0 under Garoppolo until he injured his shoulder. So, they were forced to bring in third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett—a rookie from N.C. State.

No problem. The Patriots blanked an undefeated Texans team, 27-0.

This isn’t some freak occurrence. Back in 2008, Brady tore his ACL in week one. In came Matt Cassel—a guy that hadn’t started a game since high school.

Cassel led New England to an 11-5 record and put up numbers that he has never been able to duplicate since.

Say what you want about the Patriots and Belichick, but winning is encoded into their DNA.

There have been witch hunts since 2007 to try to topple their empire and show that this has all been some grand illusion and fraud.

There was “Spygate.” Apparently, New England didn’t need other teams’ signals to win, because they’ve been to three Super Bowls since—winning one and coming two miraculous plays away from winning the other two.

And of course, Deflategate reared its ugly head after the 2014-15 AFC Championship Game. The Patriots quickly put the haters on mute as they beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl—using properly inflated balls, I might add.

Scandals, allegations, injuries, advancing years—they don’t matter. As long as Belichick and Brady are leading the empire, the galaxy is under their control.