As the decade comes to an end, the New England Patriots All-Decade has been released as expected. Many names are well deserved and crucial pieces to their three Super Bowl titles. Others are a bit more questionable. Here is who made the New England Patriots All-Decade team, and also who probably should’ve made it.
There are 29 spots on this team: the offense and defense with 12 apiece, four special teamers, and one coach. On the offense, the passing game consists of Brady at QB, Edelman and Welker at receiver, Gronkowski at TE, and Amendola at flex. The running game consisted of White and Develin, a partnership that lasted for the past six years. Lastly, the offensive line had Andrews at center, Mankins and Thuney at the guard spots, and Solder and Vollmer at tackle.
As for the defense we see quite a lot of talent as well. The D-line has Flowers and Jones at the ends, with Wilfork and Guy at the tackle. That is followed by a linebacker unit with Ninkovich and Van Noy as outside linebackers, and Hightower and Mayo on the inside. The highlight of the defense is the always brilliant secondary, boasting Gilmore and Butler at corner and Chung and McCourty at safety.
The Patriots special team of the decade has recently released Gostkowski at kicker and Allen at punter, who was released last year. Edelman appears once again on this team, this time at returner. Then you have Slater, the best special teamer in the league, in at the last spot. Obviously, the coach is Belichick.
Slightly under half of the team is still with the franchise today, with four players also leaving this offseason. Six members of the Patriots all-decade team were also members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s all-decade team, which was announced earlier this month. That team included Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Mankins on offense, Chandler Jones on defense, Stephen Gostkowski on special teams and Belichick as the head coach.
There are two changes that this team should definitely have made, one on offense and one on defense. The offense should definitely have Blount at running back. He had 35 touchdowns and over 3,000 combined rushing and receiving yards in four years. While I would take White’s impact over Blounts, I would 100% prefer Blount over Amendola. In comparison, Amendola had slightly under 2,400 yards and 12 touchdowns over five years, meaning Blount had a far greater impact despite being in New England for less time. So with that said, put Blount at RB and switch White to FLEX, where his skill set fits better anyways.
The other seemingly obvious decision would be to have Jamie Collins on the team. He would be taking Van Noy’s spot, though he could have possibly taken Ninkovich’s as well if needed. Collins, in one year more than Van Noy, has 117 tackles, one sack, six interceptions, 14 passes defended, and eight force fumbles, more than Van Noy had during his time with the Patriots. Collins was simply more effective, and was also more instrumental to the defense as a whole than Van Noy was, though that’s not discounting Van Noy’s importance.
The Patriots turn towards a new decade after once again winning three Lombardi trophies in 10 years. While there are plenty of questions that linger about the future, its always good to look back at the players that got us to where we are today. The 2010’s Patriots as a whole were certainly a special group of guys.