16-0: Is It Possible Twice In A Row?: New England Patriots 2008 Preview

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16-0: Is It Possible Twice In A Row?: New England Patriots 2008 Preview

18-1: a great record. Except for that one loss. A sour loss for the New England Patriots. The Patriots pulled off 18 wins in a row last season, and went undefeated in the regular season. It looked like they had the Super Bowl won before it even began. Can the Patriots go 16-0 again?

Rushing: 13th 
Passing: 1st
Total Offense: 1st
Run Defense: 10th
Pass Defense: 6th
Total Defense: 4th

The Patriots best off season move was picking up DB Fernando Bryant and SS John Lynch. The Patriots lost CB Asante Samuel to the Eagles, but they have a history of letting big name players who ask for large sums of cash, walk.

If the Patriots want to have success this year, Tom Brady and Randy Moss are going to have to do what they did last year. If both can remain healthy, the team will be in good shape.

Laurence Maroney will have to step it up this year. If Maroney can run the ball well along side Sammy Morris and Kevin Faulk, they'll give more opportunities to Randy Moss and Wes Welker, who needs to have another big year in order for the Pats to succeed, downfield.

On the defensive side, the Patriots will need strong play from their veteran linebackers and as well as rookie Jerod Mayo. Without Samuel in the mix, the Patriots will need Bryant to step up and play a big role in a secondary that needs help.

Wide Receiver 83 Wes Welker 17 Chad Jackson 88 Sam Aiken
18 Matthew Slater 
Left Tackle 72 Matt Light 65 Wesley Britt  
Left Guard 70 Logan Mankins 71 Russ Hochstein 64 Stephen Sene
Center 67 Dan Koppen 63 Dan Connolly 71 Russ Hochstein
75 Mike Flynn
Right Guard 74 Billy Yates 69 John Welbourn  
Right Tackle 77 Nick Kaczur 76 Oliver Ross 60 Jimmy Martin
Tight End 84 Benjamin Watson 86 David Thomas 82 Stephen Spach
85 Jonathan Stupar
46 Tyson DeVree
Wide Receiver 81 Randy Moss 10 Jabar Gaffney 15 Kelley Washington
41 Ray Ventrone
19 C.J. Jones
Quarterback 12 Tom Brady 16 Matt Cassel 7 Matt Gutierrez
5 Kevin O'Connell
Running Back 39 Laurence Maroney 33 Kevin Faulk 34 Sammy Morris
32 LaMont Jordan
42 BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Fullback 44 Heath Evans    

Left Defensive End 94 Ty Warren 99 Mike Wright 90 Le Kevin Smith
95 Kenny Smith
Nose Tackle 75 Vince Wilfork 69 Steve Fifta 62 Titus Adams
Right Defensive End 93 Richard Seymour 97 Jarvis Green 92 Santonio Thomas
Outside Linebacker 50 Mike Vrabel 58 Pierre Woods 49 Vince Redd
Inside Linebacker 51 Jerod Mayo 59 Victor Hobson 91 Bo Ruud
Inside Linebacker 54 Tedy Bruschi 52 Eric Alexander 53 Larry Izzo
Outside Linebacker 96 Adalius Thomas 98 Shawn Crable 48 Gary Guyton
Left Cornerback 25 Fernando Bryant 29 Lewis Sanders 35 Mike Richardson
23 Jeff Shoate
Right Cornerback 27 Ellis Hobbs 22 Terrence Wheatley 24 Jonathan Wilhite
Strong Safety 37 Rodney Harrison 31 Brandon Meriweather 30 Mark Dillard
Free Safety 36 James Sanders 47 John Lynch 28 Antwain Spann

Place Kicker 3 Stephen Gostkowski 6 Chris Hanson  
Punter 6 Chris Hanson 3 Stephen Gostkowski  
Holder 6 Chris Hanson 16 Matt Cassel  
Long Snapper 66 Lonie Paxton 71 Russ Hochstein  
Kickoff Returner 17 Chad Jackson 18 Matthew Slater  
Punt Returner 83 Wes Welker 19 C.J Jones 17 Chad Jackson

Rookie and first-year players are listed in italics.
Courtesy of www.patriots.com

The schedule for the Patriots this year is very soft compared to a tough schedule that they breezed through last year. The Pats open up at home against the Chiefs, then  travel to the Meadowlands to take on Brett Favre and the Jets the following week. I don't believe that the Jets will challenge the Pats even with Favre in the mix. I think the Patriots will take the division with ease again this year. In fact, I don't see them losing a division game all year.

Sun 9/7/2008 1:00 PM vs Chiefs CBS / WBZ Channel 4    
Sun 9/14/2008 4:15 PM @ Jets CBS / WBZ Channel 4    
Sun 9/21/2008 1:00 PM vs Dolphins CBS / WBZ Channel 4    
Sun 9/28/2008   vs Bye      
Sun 10/5/2008 4:15 PM @ 49ers CBS / WBZ Channel 4    
Sun 10/12/2008 8:15 PM @ Chargers NBC / WHDH Channel 7    
Mon 10/20/2008 8:30 PM vs Broncos ESPN / WCVB Channel 5    
Sun 10/26/2008 1:00 PM vs Rams Fox / WFXT Ch. 25    
Sun 11/2/2008 8:15 PM @ Colts NBC / WHDH Channel 7    
Sun 11/9/2008 1:00 PM vs Bills CBS / WBZ Ch. 4    
Thu 11/13/2008 8:15 PM vs Jets NFL Network / WCVB Ch. 5    
Sun 11/23/2008 1:00 PM @ Dolphins CBS / WBZ Ch. 4    
Sun 11/30/2008 4:15 PM vs Steelers CBS / WBZ Ch. 4    
Sun 12/7/2008 8:15 PM @ Seahawks NBC / WHDH Ch.7    
Sun 12/14/2008 4:15 PM @ Raiders CBS / WBZ Ch. 4    
Sun 12/21/2008 1:00 PM vs Cardinals Fox / WFXT Ch.25    
Sun 12/28/2008 1:00 PM @ Bills CBS / WBZ Ch. 4

Courtesy of www.patriots.com

The only games that the Patriots have a slight chance of losing are at the Chargers, vs. the Broncos, when they visit the Colts, vs. the Steelers, and at Seattle. I believe that the Patriots will breeze through this schedule.

In the end, the Patriots will go 16-0 again. Led by the running of Sammy Morris and Laurence Maroney, which will open up Randy Moss, Jabar Gaffney, and Wes Welker. Bill Belichick will hold his grudge and crush every opponent by 50 and he will walk off the field with out shaking the other coach's hand.

Patriots complete the goal this year going 19-0

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