Day four of the NFL preview here at THE Ultimate Sports Blog continues with a look at a team that everyone loves to hate. The New England Patriots have been good for so long, there are TEENAGERS WHO CAN DRIVE on this planet who don’t know what it’s like to see the Patriots have a losing season in the NFL. That’s just crazy, but that’s what happens when you have two of the best brains in the game on your team.
But is the Patriots time up? With Tom Brady suspended for the first four games of the season, will this finally be the year the Patriots have a losing season?
Can Jimmy Garoppolo save the Patriots season?
How awesome will it be when ANGRY Tom Brady does return to the NFL?
Are the Patriots Super Bowl contenders even with all the drama surrounding this team?
Let’s find out!
New England Patriots
Record Last Ten Seasons: 12-4 (2015), 12-4 (2014), 12-4 (2013), 12-4 (2012), 13-3 (2011), 14-2 (2010), 10-6 (2009), 11-5 (2008), 16-0 (2007), 12-4 (2006)
Last Playoff Appearance: 2015 AFC Championship vs. Denver Broncos
Last Playoff Win: 2015 Divisional vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl Titles Won: 4 (Super Bowl XXXVI, Super Bowl XXXVIII, Super Bowl XXXIX, Super Bowl XLIX)
Passing Leader for 2015: Tom Brady (4,770 yards, 36 touchdowns, 7 interceptions)
Rushing Leader for 2015: LeGarrette Blount (703 yards, 6 touchdowns)
Receiving Leader for 2015: Rob Gronkowski (1,176 yards, 11 touchdowns)
The Head Coach:
Overall Record (as a head coach): 223-113
Record With Team: 187-69
Previous NFL Jobs: Baltimore Colts Special Assistant (1975), Detroit Lions Assistant Special Teams Coach (1976), Detroit Lions Receivers Coach (1977), Denver Broncos Assistant Special Teams Coach and Defensive Assistant (1978), New York Giants Special Teams Coach and Defensive Assistant (1979), New York Giants Linebackers and Special Teams Coach (1980-1984), New York Giants Defensive Coordinator (1985-1990), Cleveland Browns Head Coach (1991-1995), New England Patriots Assistant Head Coach and Secondary Coach (1996), New York Jets Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Backs Coach (1997-1999)
My Grade: A+
(Depth Charts will change as training camps progress obviously….)
Player Grade Guide:
Blue = Elite Player
Green = Really Good Player
Orange = Average Player
Pink = Meh
Red = NO THANKS
Gray = Rookie
QB: Tom Brady
RB: Dion Lewis
RB: LeGarrette Blount
WR: Julian Edelman.
WR: Danny Amendola
TE: Rob Gronkowski
OC: David Andrews
OG: Shaq Mason
OG: Jonathan Cooper
OT: Sebastian Vollmer
OT: Nate Solder
DE: Jabaal Sheard
DT: Alan Branch
DT: Malcolm Brown
DE: Rob Ninkovich
LB: Jamie Collins
LB: Dont’a Hightower
LB: Jonathan Freeney
CB: Logan Ryan
CB: Malcolm Butler
SS: Patrick Chung
FS: Devin McCourty
vs. @ Arizona Cardinals (September 11)
vs. Miami Dolphins (September 18)
vs. Houston Texans (September 22)
vs. Buffalo Bills (October 2)
vs. @ Cleveland Browns (October 9)
vs. Cincinnati Bengals (October 16)
vs. @ Pittsburgh Steelers (October 23)
vs. @ Buffalo Bills (October 30)
vs. Seattle Seahawks (November 13)
vs. @ San Francisco 49ers (November 20)
vs. @ New York Jets (November 27)
vs. Los Angeles Rams (December 4)
vs. Baltimore Ravens (December 12)
vs. @ Denver Broncos (December 18)
vs. New York Jets (December 24)
vs. @ Miami Dolphins (January 1)
The New England Patriots. “They hate us cause they ain’t us”. Perhaps no slogan fits a professional team better than that one fits the Patriots. If you aren’t a Patriots fan you have plenty of reason to hate them though. No other NFL franchise has been as successful as they have been over the course of the past twenty seasons. New England has been so good under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady that it’s been borderline ridiculous. Some NFL teams are racking their heads trying to figure out ways to win football games and Super Bowl titles. Meanwhile, Belichick and company continue to make it look easy year-in and year-out. Is this the year that it all comes crashing down on the Patriots? I mean, some of the signs are there. Tom Brady is suspended for the first four games of the season. Belichick is getting older. And the offensive line looks like pure trash. This couldn’t finally be the end, could it?
No it won’t. Why? Because when Tom Brady comes back from his suspension, he’s going to go on the “Tom Brady Fuck You NFL & All The Haters Tour of 2016” and it could end up being glorious. While Jimmy Garoppolo is out there stinking the joint up for the first four games of the season, Brady will be sitting back quietly licking his chops just waiting for his opportunity. When that opportunity finally comes, watch out. I’m not making it a secret that I’m targeting Brady in as many fantasy leagues as I can. Angry Tom Brady is going to be AWESOME and one of the best parts of the 2016 season. Who cares about the rest of the offense? Yes, the offensive line is shitty and could end up costing this team a Super Bowl ring….BUT WE ARE GOING TO GET ANGRY TOM BRADY GUYS! That alone will be worth the price of admission.
So, we know the offense is going to kick ass thanks to Brady’s return. But, what about the defense? C’mon people. Look at that line-up! Most NFL defenses are lucky if they have two to three guys who would be considered “elite to very good” players. The Patriots have SEVEN of those guys on defense! And this is a defensive unit that traded away arguably their best pass-rusher in Chandler Jones this past off-season. The Patriots have been one of the NFL’s top-ranked defenses the past two seasons and I fully expect that trend to continue. Bill Belichick is considered a defensive genius for a reason and when a genius has pieces like this work with….you just sit back and watch the magic happen.
Unfortunately for the other teams in the AFC East, the Patriots should be one of the best teams in the NFL once again. By now, it’s plain stupid that the Patriots have had a chokehold on the AFC East for this long, but they know what they are doing guys. Tom Brady is one of the best QB’s in the NFL. Bill Belichick is one of the best head coaches in the NFL. The defense is one of the best defenses in the NFL. Rob Gronkowski is amazing. The New England Patriots are once again favorites to win the Super Bowl. All those things are absolutely true.