Today was a bittersweet day on Planet Patriots.
New England finally made a splash on the free-agent market by signing wide receiver, Torry Holt. Holt played 15 games for the Jaguars last year while posting 51 catches and 722 yards with no touchdowns.
The Patriots wide receiving corps needed a shot in the arm after the injury to Wes Welker and the disaster that was Joey Galloway. Holt will be a competent compliment to Randy Moss and Julian Edelman. Tom Brady will have confidence throwing the ball to this proven veteran, something he did not have at times last season.
Torry Holt is not exactly Brandon Marshall or Santonio Holmes talent wise. However, he has much better character and should fit into the “Patriot Way”. Holt also brings veteran leadership the Patriots seriously lacked last year.
Torry Holt’s career numbers are as follows; 920 catches for 13,382 yards and 74 touchdowns. His best year was with the Rams in 2003. Holt hauled in 117 balls for 1,696 yards and 12 scores.
The Patriots knew their opponents quite some time ago for the 2010 season, but the schedule was finally released today to much fanfare. The NFL is the only league that can pull something off like this with such hype.
The schedule is as follows:
Sunday, Sept. 12 – vs. Bengals (1 p.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 19 – at N.Y. Jets (4:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Sept. 26 – vs. Bills (1 p.m.)
Monday, Oct. 4 – at Miami (8:30 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 17 – vs. Baltimore (1 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 24 – at San Diego (1:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Oct. 31 – vs. Minnesota (4:15 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 7 – at Cleveland (1 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 14 – at Pittsburgh (8:20 p.m.)
Sunday, Nov. 21 – vs. Indianapolis (4:15 p.m.)
Thursday, Nov. 25 – at Detroit (12:30 p.m.)
Monday. Dec. 6 – vs. N.Y. Jets (8:30 p.m.)
Sunday, Dec. 12 – at Chicago (1 p.m.)
Sunday, Dec. 19 – vs. Green Bay (8:20 p.m.)
Sunday, Dec. 26 – at Buffalo (1 p.m.)
Sunday, Jan. 2 – vs. Miami (1 p.m.)
With the Jets and Dolphins acquiring the likes of Santonio Holmes, Jason Taylor, and Brandon Marshall respectively, the AFC East is up for grabs. The Patriots will face NY, Buffalo, and Miami in the first quarter of the season. These games will be pivotal in the division race.
New England will also face the likes of 2009 playoff participants; Cincinnati, Minnesota, Green Bay, Baltimore, San Diego, and Indianapolis. Sprinkle in tough road contests against Pittsburgh and Chicago, and the Patriots will have their work cut out for them.
Even games against the rebuilding Browns and the Lions on Thanksgiving Day are far from layups. The margin for error for the Patriots will be slim. There is no wiggle room for mental mistakes and blowing fourth quarter leads.
Bill Belichick must have his team focused for 17 weeks to have a chance at the postseason.
The Patriots of the dynasty years thrived on adversity and rose to tough challenges.
The $1 million question is what will the 2010 Patriots do?
Wilt or go full tilt?