By Will Button
The New England Patriots are looking to make a Superbowl run in the 2014-2015 season, coming off what many fans considered a disappointing season last year. Going into the playoffs with a strong 12-4, the Patriots found a strong opponent in the Denver Broncos, losing their AFC Championship game 26-16 and ending what many believed to be a possible Superbowl winning season. This year, new acquisitions, moves and adjustments to the Patriots lineup have given fans new hope in a chance at the championship this season. bet365 has them at 8/1 to win this year’s Superbowl.
One player fans are looking to make an impact is newly signed second-year TE Tim Wright, who gives the Patriots yet another offensive weapon to utilize on the field. If Rob Gronkowski can stay healthy, the two big tight ends could get them back to levels of production missing since they lost Aaron Hernandez. Another big decision New England made was the re-signing of Julian Edelman, who had 105 receptions, 1056 yards and 6 TDs in the 2013-2014 season. Though Edelman’s injuries have kept him from playing 100% in the past few seasons, he played all 16 games last year and is looking to make a bigger impact this year as well in the Wes Welker, possession receiver role.
Tom Brady has made a name in New England as a future hall of fame quarterback, but at the age of 37 many wonder how much he has left in the tank. Brady struggled last year, with a completion percentage of only 60.5% which is the lowest total since 2003. Seeing as Brady’s pass attempts reached 628 last season (the second highest in his career), fans can be fairly certain he will continue taking it to the air. With the Patriots new off-season acquisitions and the general changes in the offensive line, Brady should have a much better shot at the end zone this time around. He has look really solid this pre-season as well.
The defensive line of the New England Patriots also has a lot to look forward to this season, coming off of a year that saw 48 sacks in a league that averaged 40. They drafted defensive tackle Dominique Easley out of Florida and expect great things from him. Logan Ryan is fresh off a fantastic season, with five interceptions to his name and a plethora of defensive yards to carry him into this season. Many will also be looking towards Kyle Arrington to make big tackles and defensive plays for New England. Many still consider the Patriots’s defense to be a bit lacking, seeing as they have allowed the most yards in the league in the previous three seasons at 386 a game. Fortunately they can look to turnovers to help their defense out, as they have a turnover margin of +51 in the last three years and lead the NFL in takeaways with 104. And, adding Darrelle Revis (CB Tampa Bay) and Brandon Browner (CB Seattle) in the off-season is sure to make them a much more formidable D.
Many fans everywhere have reasons to look at the New England Patriots as a strong Superbowl competitor this year. Their biggest strength is their offensive line, which has only become stronger in the past few seasons with Bill Belichick at the helm. While their biggest weakness may fall on the defensive side, off-season trades and acquisitions have given Pats fans plenty of hope for the 2014-2015 season in regards to stopping the football. Many are considering the Denver Broncos to be the ‘hill to climb’ in regards to the challenges New England faces this season. Their best chance at becoming a strong playoff contender is taking advantage of their passing game, and giving Tom Brady plenty of options when it comes to getting rid of the football. Taking it to the air is something many can expect from Brady, which is why strong wide receivers are needed more than ever this season. Overall, the Patriots and their fans have many reasons to be excited for this season, but coaching decisions and player health will play a huge role in whether or not they can succeed.