Everyone likes to use individual players to state a case of supremacy, but this does not do justice, as it takes a team to win.
I understand that some players are more deserving of accolades than others, but I also believe that greatness is achieved by balance between teammates.
This is undeniable, as a quarterback cannot hand the ball off to himself, nor can a defender place his teammates in the proper place in order to achieve a common goal.
Let me introduce to you three simple, yet complex, reasons why the New England Patriots will achieve the goal that is the Lombardi Trophy.
Every time analysis of a football game is brought up in conversation, the first thing you usually hear is about protecting the ball and the turnover battle. With the complexity of schemes and game plans, the safety of the football is becoming more crucial than ever.
While the efficiency of an offense is vital to the progression of a football team's success, so is the ability to disturb the flow of the opposing team's offense while defending. No team is as true to form in this regard as the New England Patriots.
As a team, the Patriots led the league in interceptions with 25 and were second in turnovers caused with 38 on the season. New England is led defensively by Devin McCourty and Jerod Mayo, who were accountable for 10 turnovers between them. Mayo was also the league leader in tackles this year.
Conversely, New England only turned the ball over 10 times the entire season. In fact, during a seven-game stretch the team did not turn the ball over once. Tom Brady is a focal point of this performance, as he threw a league-low four interceptions all year. Also, the Patriots' first 1,000-yard rusher since 2004, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, did not fumble the ball all season.
For those who are keeping track, New England forced 38 turnovers as a team while only giving 10 turnovers away this entire season. That is a nearly four-to-one ratio in the turnover battle.
Let's further investigate what makes the Patriots title contenders.
The concept of winning in football is simple: The team that scores the most points wins. With that being said, take a look at how well the New England Patriots got the ball into the end zone while keeping the opposition out.
The Patriots are considered to be a dangerous team, as they can put up points in bunches. In fact, New England led the league in points scored with 65 touchdowns, and seven players on the roster scored at least five times this season. BenJarvus Green-Ellis led all performers with 13 celebrations of the sort.
Defensively, New England practically gave yards away to opponents but managed to allow only 36 total touchdowns against them, giving the defense an average of 19.6 points per game, which is good enough for eighth in the league.
Simple math suggests that the 32.4 points per game the Patriots score is much more than what they allow. Combine that with the turnover ratio, and you have a dangerous team to deal with.
There is one other detail that will lead to a Super Bowl victory.
There are many aspects to coaching. Whether it be preparation, adjustments or confidence, the New England Patriots have it on several levels. They are coached on the sidelines and both sides of the ball as well as any team now or in history.
Bill Belichick is a master of preparation and making precise adjustments on the fly. No team can transform during halftime and come out as another team in the second half of games like the Patriots. The team has also bought into the ideals and concepts of individuals coming together as one, as taught by Belichick.
Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork have been extensions of the coach in both effort and example. Brady and Wilfork have shown great work ethic on and off the field in preparing for opponents while also helping teammates understand the concept that has been passed down to them from Belichick.
Once a team is prepared, coached and transformed while being efficient both offensively and defensively, you have a very dangerous team. The Patriots not only buy into the concept of being united, but they also protect the ball and outscore opponents while causing turnovers and defending their end zone. This all accumulates into one thing.
The Lombardi Trophy will again go to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLV, as they are the best at preparing for opponents; causing turnovers as well as protecting the ball; scoring while also defending their territory; and being coached to play as a cohesive unit.