With the Boston Red Sox still enjoying the All-Star break it seems like a good time to consider the New England Patriots. The NFL season will start shortly and in the next six weeks or so there will be a lot of predictions offered regarding that season and each team. There’s one goal for the Patriots and that’s another Super Bowl win. The last two times they have fallen short. What can they do to secure another NFL Championship, besides hope that they don’t have to play the Giants?
This one is pretty obvious. Brady need to be running on all cylinders and focused on each and every play. He’s still young be the guy has taken a beating at times. His health is a primary factor, as a healthy Tom Brady can beat anyone any day. (Of course, an ailing Tom Brady can often do the same.) The primary thing that Brady needs is a defense to keep some of those points off the board.
Consistently Great Defense
Pass attacks annihilated the Pat’s secondary at times last year. First thing that’s needed is a healthy Patrick Chung. The guy missed eight games last season and that hurt the team in a major manner. He’s a great D-back but he is also a major part of the communication system that keeps the secondary focused, fluid and flexible.
The most talented of the defensive backs, Chung knows the defense. But he has also caught a bit of the injury bug. When he’s injured, the Patriots’ secondary communication suffers. And in turn, the defense suffers. He missed eight games last season and in those games his absence was noticed.
The front seven needs to be able to contain the running game and put more pressure on QBs. Logan Mankins is tough and excellent in trench battles; Jerod Mayo offers versatility and Brandon Spikes is a vital part of the roughness of the front seven. These guys can all be difference makers.
Vince Wilfork, who had a stellar season last year, needs another one this year. He is a major disruptive force and can make bad things happen to good offenses. He keeps opponents true and is always testing them. Tenacious and incredibly tough, he’ll go to the mat for you.
Welker, Gronkowski & Lloyd
A healthy Welker is simply needed. He’s a go-to player who has great quickness, smart and elusiveness. His sure hands are one of Brady’s best friends. Gronkowski is probably the best tight end in the game and gives the Pats another go-to receiver. He’s extremely dangerous and at times impossible to bring down. Finally, there’s Brandon Lloyd. He’s got some experience and has the potential to be a massive deep threat.
We may see Stevan Ridley become the primary carry man. He had a good minicamp, put up some decent numbers last season and now has some experience. The potential is there for a big season.
Besides good health for all, the New England Patriots need someone to be the stopper in the secondary. Devin McCourty and Ras-I Dowling will most likely start at the corners. Dowling has spent the last two seasons injured. He needs to be the man this year. Devin McCourty is fine but will be better with a healthy Dowling.
What do you think the Patriots need to do to succeed this year in the NFL and take home another Super Bowl trophy?