New England Patriots: 5 Reasons They Will Be Super Bowl Champions
The New England Patriots seem poised to win their fourth Super Bowl in the 2011-2012 season.
After the NFL lockout ended, Bill Bellichick's New England Patriots immediately began to make solid moves and acquisitions, bring in a potentially devastating defensive linemen and a brand new deep threat in the receiving corps.
The Receiving Corps
The New England Patriots successfully traded for wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who should be able to rejuvenate his career with reigning league MVP Tom Brady. He is the deep threat the Patriots were missing for most of last season and will continue to torment defenses this season.
Ochocinco is not the only weapon Bill Belichick will look forward to utilizing in the passing game this season though.
The return of Deion Branch last year proved to be a incredibly productive move with an instant impact. In Branch's 11 games with the Patriots last season, he managed to pull in 48 receptions for 706 yards and five touchdowns.
Branch proved he could be an equally destructive deep threat when he caught a 79-yard touchdown from Tom Brady against the Detroit Lions and another 55-yard touchdown catch against the Chicago Bears two weeks later.
Then defenses will have to deal with the pesky Wes Welker as a troublesome slot receiver, who will convert simple screen passes for first downs and big plays all day long. Fully healed from a devastating knee injury in 2010, Welker's progression should only skyrocket.
Add young tight-end tandem Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski into the mix, who both had stellar rookie campaigns, and you have the most dangerous passing game in the league.
With this many threats on the field, Revis Island won't have a whole lot of impact when the Jets face the Patriots in the regular season and playoffs.
The Running Game
The New England Patriots running back by committee style worked to perfection last season.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis just finalized his new deal with the defending AFC East champions and will be back to once again rush for over 1,000 yards.
Then there is the small, but versatile, Danny Woodhead. Woodhead became a cult icon for the New England Patriots over the course of last season, pestering opposing teams with both his rushing and receiving skills.
The Patriots running game rushed for just under 2,000 yards last season, averaging 4.3 yards a rush. Expect the young running squad to continue to progress and become more dangerous in the 2011-2012 season.
An Improving Defense
The Patriots' defense was by far the weakest part of the team during the 2010-2011 season. They still managed to go 14-2, but much was left to be desired.
The defensive side of the ball was, and still is, youthful though and should be making great strides after a subpar performance last season.
On the defensive line, you have big Vince Wilfork as your centerpiece, but the New England Patriots took a big risk and brought in troubled Albert Haynesworth, hoping Bill Belichick can reform him into a productive player, as he has done in the past. Haynesworth should add the pass rush threat the Patriots were missing all of last season.
And forget about Darrelle Revis. Young Devin McCourty has quickly become one of the best defensive backs in the NFL.
Posting seven interceptions and 82 tackles in his rookie campaign, his numbers should only become stronger. If not it'll only be because the rest of the league has become aware of his presence.He shuts down some of the most productive receivers in the league and will make life miserable for new Jets' pickup Plaxico Burress.
Joining McCourty is a supporting cast of young quality backs who should see great improvement in action over the course of the 2011-2012 NFL season.
Proven Winners: Tom Brady
Honestly, who else would you want behind your starting center in a big game? Not Mark Sanchez.
Tom Brady is quite possibly the greatest quarterback of our time. The fierce competitor already has three rings and is looking to quickly add a fourth.
Coming off an MVP season, Brady has plenty of options to throw to and a supporting cast to protect him, featuring linemen Logan Mankins and Matt Light.
Brady threw for 3,900 yards and 36 touchdowns last season, while only being picked off four times. Year in and year out, he is the best passer in the league.
Not only are his numbers great, but he is exactly the kind of leader a team needs to run an offense and make a late drive towards the end zone.
Tom Brady doesn't enjoy losing. Don't expect him to let off the throttle at all in his 12th NFL season.
Proven Winners: Bill Belichick
There is another guy who really hates the thought of losing. The man at the helm of it all, Bill Belichick.
Since taking over as head coach of the New England Patriots in 2000, Belichick has recorded only one losing season with them and has recorded an astounding record of 126-50. That's a .716 winning percentage.
The straight-faced leader has steered the New England Patriots to four Super Bowl appearances, only one of them being a losing effort.
Belichick has proven time and time again he can make every decision in the book, even if they aren't popular, and make himself look like a genius. From taking in misfits like Randy Moss, Corey Dillon and now Albert Haynesworth and reviving their careers to calling outrageous plays that work, Belichick knows how to get the job done.
And with the big moves and big names Belichick has brought in this season, it becomes very apparent he looks to be getting back to his Super Bowl-winning ways.