New England Patriots: 5 Reasons Pats Will Return to Super Bowl
Believe it or not the New England Patriots have the longest championship drought of any of the four major Boston sports teams. They last captured the big one in 2004.
The Boston Red Sox captured the World Series in 2007.
The Boston Celtics got it done in 2008.
And even the Boston Bruins got into the championship spirit winning the Stanley Cup in 2011.
Hopefully Brady's boys can win the Super Bowl in 2012, and here is why the Patriots will make it to Indianapolis and Super Bowl XLVI.
They Have the Best Quarterback in the AFC
Without any argument. Hands down, Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the AFC.
He also owns the AFC crown for completion percentage, yards per game and passer rating.
But forget the stats—Brady is a winner.
He has been to the Super Bowl multiple times and knows how to navigate the playoffs like a taxi driver in New York City. Brady has shown time and time again he can lead a team.
He will do it again this year.
Here is something the Patriots haven't had in recent years: a solid red-zone threat.
Sure Wes Welker is great over the middle of the field, but when the Patriots get into field goal range Gronkowski will be the difference between three points or six points.
Sure that might be a lot of pressure for a second-year player but Gronk has been nothing but gold this year.
He is the best tight end in the AFC by a mile (and more) with 65 receptions for 928 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns.
Gronk is impossible to cover and provides the spark New England has been looking for.
A Relatively Easy AFC
Its pretty safe to say that the AFC is not as strong as previous years. That leaves an opening for New England.
Houston is starting TJ Yates.
Baltimore is horribly inconsistent.
Denver has a date with New England coming up, and after that I'll make my decision about them.
Also, Brady's Bunch will probably get a No. 1 or 2 seed in the AFC, meaning they will get a bye while their opponent grinds it out.
In the postseason, that definitely helps.
Home Sweet Home
It's that easy. The remaining games for the Patriots are complete cupcakes; easy to eat with no real substance.
If the Patriots win out, which is very likely, then they end the season with a 13-3 record and the No. 1 AFC seed to grant them home-field advantage.
Playing at home in Foxborough throughout the playoffs is noticeably helpful—it will get cold in New England. But the Patriots know how to play in the weather, even when it snows. Houston will be a camel in the Arctic if it comes to New England in mid-January.
The Patriots have only lost once this year at Gillette Stadium and that was to a tough Giant team.
If New England wins out then Patriots fans could be cheering in snowy Foxborough for a long time.
The Run Game
I'm not saying the run game is good—it isn't. But it has a chance to be produce come playoff time.
Almost all the defenses that New England faces in the postseason will concentrate on the pass, and that's a perfect time to throw in a run play.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis is not a bad back, he just does not get the amount of touches as other backs. If he was to get more touches then I think that the Patriots running game will be on par with some of the other AFC foes.
There are a lot of pieces that need to fall in place for a Super Bowl run to happen. But those pieces will fall, and come February your New England Patriots will be representing the American Football Conference in the Super Bowl.
Back where they belong.