Would you bet against Brady and the Patriots landing yet another Super Bowl?
Super Bowl LI
The Patriots’ indelible super bowl success of last season serves as one of the most memorable and iconic NFL games in recent memory. At one stage in the third quarter, the Patriots were trailing by 28-3, yet the New England team inspired by the heroics of Tom Brady orchestrated a stunning comeback. New England registered 25 unanswered points before James White’s decisive touchdown in overtime, to secure the Patriots’ fifth Super Bowl triumph (their second in the space of three years).
The ecstasy of that ineradicable February night looms long in the memory of the Pats supporters, yet as the new season has already begun the question associated with the team is if they’re able to record their second successive Super Bowl win.
Favourites to conquer the AFC East
Regarding their division, it seems utterly and irrefutably inconceivable for the other three teams to prevent the Patriots from recording their ninth consecutive division title. Regarding their division competitors, the Miami Dolphins are the team best equipped to trouble the Pats. However, it would be wholly unrealistic – and rather fanciful – to suggest that the Dolphins can dismantle the Patriots’ superiority.
During the trading period, New England has made some shrewd acquisitions to their roster, providing them with greater excellence and experience as they aim to augment their hopes of another Super Bowl triumph.
The addition of wide receiver Brandin Cooks is an exciting addition, having scored 17 touchdowns during his past two seasons as a New Orleans Saints player. Additionally, the Patriots have resigned linebacker Dont’a Hightower who was an instrumental figure in their recent Super Bowl success.
Ultimately, the epicentre of their side and their undeniable strength lies with their quarterback, Tom Brady, who is, without doubt, the greatest quarterback in the NFL. Despite being 40-years-old, Brady still retains undeniable class, and he also flaunts five Lombardi trophies that attest his capacity to perform at the highest level.
Despite their opening day defeat to Kansas City Chiefs, the Patriots still flaunts one of the most accomplished outfits in the NFL. While assessing the quality of their team, they’re equally proficient in attack and defence. Additionally, they possess considerable strength in depth in some critical areas on the field, e.g. Jimmy Garoppolo as Brady’s deputy; there’s also ample cover at tight end and at wide receiver (thanks to the addition of Cooks).
Nonetheless, there are areas in which the squad is comparatively weak, or the options don’t attain the same degree of distinction that characterises the rest of the team. One noticeable example is the special teams, Stephen Gostkowski flaunted a middling ratio of 84.4% of his field goals. While there is no denying that Gostkowski is a talented kicker, and has served the Patriots in an exemplary manner since 2006, this ratio requires significant improvement.
Between the 2015 and 2016 season, the 33-year-old’s field goal percentage decreased by 7.3%. Ultimately, this sharp deterioration in form wasn’t too catastrophic in the context of the Patriots’ season, yet it does adequately illustrate that their team isn’t devoid of its imperfections. During the 2012-2015 seasons, Gostkowski was averaging a percentage of 93% – he must attain a similar number this season to ensure that his side has the best possible chance of success.
Their imperfections have also been elucidated by a shock opening defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite a relatively nervous start to the game, the Chiefs produced a stunning 42-27 win against the reigning champions.
In a match in which the Patriots were widely anticipated to rise victorious, shrewd defensive play from Marcus Peters and Eric Berry, in particular, were key to negating the dynamism of the Patriots attack.
Super Bowl contenders
While their defeat to the Chiefs was widely unexpected, it’s still entirely conceivable that the Patriots will storm the AFC East with relative ease. The question that remains to be seen from their perspective is if they’re able to conquer the playoffs with the same degree of superiority and consistency that they displayed last season.
Unless Tom Brady’s passing qualities regress overnight, he will continue to provide the focal point of the Patriots attack, one that is sufficient to win their sixth Super Bowl. Betting sites have them at 9/2 to record their second successive Super Bowl triumph, and despite their early season woes, you wouldn’t bet against them!