New England Patriots 2011 Predictions: Why the Pats Will Be NFL's Best Team
Still not impressed?
The Patriots went 14-2 last season, led the NFL in PPG (32.4), finished eighth in PPG allowed (19.6) and somehow they managed to get even better this offseason.
With the additions of monstrous defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, and Twitter-obsessed wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, the Patriots have had one of the best free agency periods in team history. They have barely lost any significant players, but have added those two potential Pro Bowlers, plus cornerback Leigh Bodden.
Bodden was on injured reserve for all of last season, but he is only turning 30 this September, and was New England's only consistent cornerback in 2009. Now, with rookie phenom Devin McCourty going into his second season, Bodden will have a lot less pressure to perform. After recent Patriots No. 2 cornerbacks like Kyle Arrington, Deltha O'Neal and Ellis Hobbs failed in epic fashion, even a decent year from Bodden will look superb in the eyes of Patriots fans.
Tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, fan favorites in 2010, will look to make an even bigger impact this year. I expect Gronkowski, specifically, to have a phenomenal season after last year's 10 touchdown performance.
Offensively the Patriots resemble the undefeated 2007 squad, except this year they look better.
They don't have the "Randy Moss factor," but I think Deion Branch, Ochocinco and the two tight end's more than make up for his loss. Not to mention the X-factor, Danny Woodhead.
Woodhead became an instant hero in New England last year when he raced 22 yards for his first Patriots touchdown just days after signing with the team. His shiftiness and versatility make him a matchup nightmare, and his toughness separates him from every other little back in the NFL. This kid can flat out play.
The Patriots' schedule is no piece of cake this season, with games against the new-look Philadelphia Eagles on the road and the always-tough Indianapolis Colts at home. Obviously, the two match ups against the always annoying New York Jets will be entertaining.
Led by insufferable head coach Rex Ryan, the Jets have been one of only a few teams in the past few seasons to have the Patriots' number. With the additions New England has made, getting past the Jets shouldn't be as difficult.
The NFL is totally loaded right now, with eight to 10 teams who could call themselves Super Bowl contenders, and another four to six who are right on the brink.
New England boasts the best team of the bunch, with the emphasis on the word "team."
The Philadelphia Eagles may be a "Dream Team" dripping with potential, but they are only truly a great team on paper.
As of now the New England Patriots are the NFL's best team. Whether they bring home their fourth Super Bowl in the last 10 years is a matter up for discussion.
I think they'll do it.
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