by Patrick Silvia
The New England Patriots are the most successful NFL team since the turn of the century. To people in New England, the Patriots are everything; almost everyone is a Patriots fan at NAHS. Every week in the fall and winter, we turn on the TV and spend about three hours of our time watching the Patriots play. The Patriots have won four Championships in the last 14 years, their most recent being last February. Even with this much success over this long period of time, people still get worried about the Patriots and their chances of winning the Super Bowl. Many fans are even worried about their ability to secure a first round bye.
1.)Tom Brady and Bill Belichick
Brady is a three-time Super Bowl MVP, four-time Super Bowl winner, third on the all-time touchdown passing list and has many more outstanding achievements. Arguably the best quarterback in the history of the game, he makes bad receivers look good and average receivers look great. With Brady running the offense you should have every reason to be confident in the Patriots. Also, the Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is arguably the best head coach of all time. He’s won six Super Bowls over his career and has won the NFL Coach of the Year award three times. So, the Patriots easily have the leadership to make it far in the playoffs.
2.) Temporary Injuries to Key Players
Injuries to key players have hindered the team currently , but most of the injured players will be back soon. Dont’a Hightower, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman were all out two weeks ago versus the Eagles. All three have huge impacts on the team. Hightower is the best run-stopping defender on the Patriots, while Edelman and Gronkowski are our best receivers. Their injuries leave massive holes in our lineup. The good news is that Gronkowski played limited snaps versus the Texans and should be back to normal soon. Dont’a Hightower should be available to play before the playoffs and Edelman will most likely be back for the 1st round of the playoffs.
3.) Injuries & Inexperience of Competition
This past weekend has displayed key reasons why not to be worried about the Patriots. Conference rivals Denver and Cincinnati have recently taken a step back, with Denver losing to Oakland and Cincinnati losing to Pittsburgh. Starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton,was injured in the earlier stages of the game. Andy Dalton will most likely miss multiple weeks, this puts the Bengals in a tough position putting A.J. McCarron at the starting Quarterback position. McCarron has never started in a NFL game. Denver who is right behind us in the standings also has a young inexperienced Quarterback who has started in less than 10 games in the NFL. Brock Osweiler has been given the starting position in Denver not because he earned it but because Peyton Manning gave it away with his horrible play this year. Osweiler shows great poise and potential but to expect him to be able to carry a team far in the playoffs at this stage in his career just isn’t realistic. With the inexperience of the quarterbacks of the teams chasing us I think we can be confident in the Patriots not only to secure a bye, but also first place in the AFC.
The Patriots are temporarily in a rough patch, but there are many reasons to be optimistic about the rest of the season. The leadership of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick can take us far, the Broncos and Bengals losing this past weekend and inexperience of their starting quarterbacks help us, and the Patriots have key players like Gronkowski coming back from injuries. Just remember to be positive and have faith in Tom Brady to be able to carry us to the Super Bowl one more time.