As we all know, the New England Patriots are the reigning Super Bowl Champions, but some feel that they deserve even more recognition when it comes to their abilities. This week, the NFL released their first power rankings of the season.
Obviously it has turned into common courtesy to put the Patriots at the number one spot because of their most recent championship, but after the inevitable first loss of the season they drop out of the top five. Even if they do lose one, here is why the Patriots deserve to stay at the top of the NFL.
The Patriots are always known for their offense, simple. Tough, experienced and smart, those are, and always have been, the characteristics of the Patriots offense. This side of the ball is what the Patriots pride themselves on, and here is why.
Last year’s receiving core consisted of Phillip Dorsett, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Jacob Hollister, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Josh Gordon. While Julian Edelman was suspended for the first four games last year, and the Patriots yet to pick up Josh Gordon, they had to give four players a shot at starter. The 2018 Patriots receiving core faced adversity every game, from injuries to suspensions. Fortunately, even with this small core, they were able to win the Super Bowl, led by Julian Edelman. This year, the Patriots payed attention to this part of the offense, keeping Phillip Dorsett, Julian Edelman, and Josh Gordon, dropping Chris Hogan, Jacob Hollister, and Cordarrelle Patterson, and getting N’Keal Harry, Demaryius Thomas, Maurice Harris, Cameron Meredith, Damoun Patterson, Gunner Olszewski, Jakobi Meyers, and Ryan Davis. Now this new core is scary, the only limit for this receiving core is a ring. They do have to cut some guys, but the remaining receivers will probably be Edelman, Gordon, Harry, Thomas, Dorsett, and Meyers. These guys will have proven themselves worthy to Bill Belichick, now it’s their turn to win a championship.
The Patriots have had a "surplus" of running backs over the past three years, starting with Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, and James White in 2017. Then the Patriots dropped Lewis, who later went to the Titans. Last year the Patriots drafted Sony Michel, who some might argue had a breakout season/playoffs, and the only person to score a touchdown in Super Bowl LIII. This past off-season, the Patriots got Damien Harris, Brandon Bolden, and Nick Brossette. Maybe only one of these guys will be cut before the regular season, probably Brossette. That leaves White, Burkhead, Michel, Harris, and Bolden to receive handoffs from Tom Brady.
Tom Brady, thats it. The 42 year old quarterback is entering his 20th year as Patriots starting quarterback. And this year, he’s back and better than last year to prove that he can still go out and play, and eventually win. At training camp this year, ESPN’s Mike Reiss wrote that Tom Brady has "been as sharp as ever."
The Patriots did a little revamping over the past couple of seasons, focusing on their offensive line, adding offensive tackle Isiah Wynn, in last year’s draft. Rob Gronkowski recently retired in March, putting the Patriots back on the market for a tight end, which they did. Now, they have Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo, Lance Kendricks, Stephen Anderson, Eric Saubert, and Ben Watson. But the Patriots didn’t only focus on one side of the ball this season.
We are talking about a defense that completely shut down the high powered Rams offense in the Super Bowl, holding them to only three points. Bringing back the saying: Defense wins championships. These past couple of years, the Patriots have added, dropped, and developed star defensive players, here’s where they’re at.
Last year, the Patriots d-line consisted of Trey Flowers, Malcom Brown, and Lawrence Guy. It’s only the starters, don’t freak out that the Patriots only have three linemen, but now that Trey Flowers is on the Lions, four players can step up and play there: Michael Bennett, John Simon, Chase Winovich, and Deatrich Wise. If you have watched preseason, you’ve seen what Belichick saw from Chase Winovich, he’s scary. Lawrence Guy is still here, but Malcom Brown isn’t, that leaves the other spot open for Adam Butler, Danny Shelton, Mike Pennel, and Byron Cowart.
These guys are talented, smart, and able to preform their jobs to their fullest extent. Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, and Elandon Roberts sounds like the regulars, and expect something, right? Wrong, expect everything to come from these guys this season. They are powerful and quick, they are the leaders of the defense and it shows in games.
Many people will just think of Stephon Gilmore, which is natural to do, but what people don’t talk about is the others. Starting with cornerbacks Jason McCourty, Johnathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, Joejuan Williams, Ken Webster, and Duke Dawson, these guys are good, emphasis on good. The safeties are easy, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, and Patrick Chung. These men are all equal to each other, and when together, these backs are lockdown.
The Main Goal
Back to Back? With this team? Hopefully. Some people have said how this is maybe of the best Patriots teams on paper because there is depth everywhere on this team. Besides tight end, which still can be fixed. Belichick will always have a trick up his sleeve to prepare this team for the upcoming season. This season might be impressive from both sides of the ball, and Tom Brady’s weapons will be better than many think.