Patriots The Dynasty Credit: The Dynasty/Michael Hurley on X

The fifth and sixth episodes of The Dynasty: New England Patriots released on Friday. And while the Apple TV+ docuseries has largely received strong reviews, at least one eagle-eyed viewer noticed an apparent discrepancy in the latest batch of episodes.

The fifth episode of the series focuses on the 2008 season, which saw quarterback Matt Cassel fill in admirably after Tom Brady suffered a season-ending injury in the Patriots’ first game. During a portion of the episode, a newspaper clipping is shown with the headline “Matt Cassel proves that Tom Brady is a system quarterback,” seemingly implying that a quarterback controversy was brewing in New England.

The only problem? As noted by CBS Boston’s Michael Hurley, the column in question wasn’t actually from a newspaper, but rather Bleacher Report. 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Alex Barth also pointed out that the column was actually published after Cassel had been traded — not before, as The Dynasty inferred.

Hurley even found the 2002 newspaper column — which was used in a previous episode of the docuseries — that The Dynasty used as a template for the repurposed Bleacher Report column.

On the one hand, this isn’t that big of a deal.

Ultimately, the column in question does exist, and most documentaries bend the truth to some degree to help craft their narratives. Rather than using the original Bleacher Report column, director Matt Hamachek might have simply found using a newspaper to be more visually appealing than a website.

On the other hand, it’s hard to read this as anything other than a dramatization of the coverage surrounding the Patriots at the time.

Anyone familiar with Bleacher Report’s publishing standards in 2009 likely knows that the site was more prone to hot takes than a traditional newspaper column would have been. And it’s awfully convenient that the Photoshopped newspaper column doesn’t include the date of the column, which ran counter to the narrative the episode was crafting.

Perhaps the most curious aspect of all this is that it simply seems unnecessary. It’s not like there was any shortage of interesting storylines (or news coverage) regarding the Patriots throughout their 20-year run. As Hurley wrote, “Why create fake media in a documentary?”

In the grand scheme of things, this is merely a footnote in an otherwise well-received docuseries. But it is interesting to see the lengths that documentarians will go to support the stories they’re trying to tell.

[Michael Hurley on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.