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The Patriots have not won a Super Bowl since 2004, but as long as Tom Brady is playing quarterback for the Patriots they should have no problem making a run at the Super Bowl every season. If Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez can stay healthy at the same time then the Patriots passing attack will be almost unstoppable. The Patriots created negative publicity by not making a push to keep Wes Welker, but that will be forgotten as Danny Amendola emerges in this fierce offense. The Patriots mediocre defense will need to step up for Brady to hold up his fourth Lombardi Trophy.
In their first Super Bowl betting appearance since 1968, the Green Bay Packers trucked their way back to the top of the NFL mountain with a 35-21 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXI. The championship was the third overall for one of the league’s most storied franchises, and extended their record for most overall championships to 12 dating back to the days before Super Bowl betting.
Return specialist Desmond Howard was named Super Bowl betting MVP after registering 154 kickoff return yards, which included the game-winning 99-yard return for a touchdown. Howard also recorded 90 punt return yards, which gave him the Super Bowl record for most total return yards with 244. The victory extended the NFC’ reign in the championship game, as it was the conferences 13th straight Super Bowl win. The former Heisman trophy winner became the first special teams player to win the MVP award, overshadowing Brett Favre’s 246-yard, two-touchdown performance in the only Super Bowl win of his career.
The Jets are seen as the team to beat in the AFC East. With a second year quarterback. With their best defensive player unhappy. I don’t know about you, but I am sticking with what’s tried and true. The Patriots are a perennial playoff team. They will be until Tom Brady decides to hang ‘em up. And oh by the way, the Patriots still have one of the best offenses in the league. They were third in total yards per game and in the top 10 in points per game, as they usually are.
Slot magician Wes Welker will be back this year and hopefully 100% healthy. His absence was a big reason why the Pats flamed out against the Ravens in the playoffs last year. Randy Moss is still there. He can still play. Ben Watson is a viable option at tight end as well. The Pats never were a run-heavy team with Brady at quarterback, and I don’t suspect that will change this year. Laurence Maroney will again get the bulk of the carries with a myriad of others pitching in such as Fred Taylor, Sammie Morris, and others.
Defense is where the Patriots fall flat. At least, that’s how they fell flat against the Ravens last year. This year looks to be even tougher, as the veteran corner of the group in Leigh Bodden has been placed on the injured reserve list for the year. As a result, they will have the youngest secondary in the league. That could spell trouble. The offense will definitely have to make up for the shortcomings of the defense. Still, as bad as the defense supposedly was last year, they still only allowed 17.8 points per game, the fifth lowest in the league.
It should be an interesting AFC East this year. I think the Patriots hold on to their division crown, narrowly escaping the Jets with an 11-5 record.
By Josh Delp of the Sports Fan Blog Network
The AFC East will have a new champion this season. The Patriots are no longer the team to beat in the division. Read on to see what team from the AFC East has a good chance of going to the Super Bowl.
2. New England Patriots: With Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker on the same team, the Patriots are almost guaranteed to make the playoffs every season. Welker and Moss are probably the best one-two tandem of receivers in the league. To go along with Welker and Moss, is new addition Alge Crumpler at tight end. Crumpler may be getting old, but he still has a little bit left in him and may become a big target for Brady since everyone’s attention will be on Moss and Welker. The Patriots also picked up another aging veteran in Tory Holt, this seems like a good pickup to me because Holt will be used as the underneath man and should flourish in that spot. Holt is no longer a top receiver and the Patriots aren’t trying to make him one again.
The Patriots are a passing team, they always have been since Brady became their quarterback. Most of the time they work from the shotgun and have five receivers in the backfield, one guy usually gets open. The Patriots didn’t even try improving their running game this season, they still have Laurence Maroney and Fred Taylor as their backs. The Patriots defense isn’t what it used to be, they will probably give up a lot of points, but their offense is so strong that they should be able to outscore most teams. I think the Patriots will have the same record as last season at 10-6, only this year it will not be good enough to win the division.
Click here to read the full article – By Eric Heyer of Sports Fan Blog Network
The New England Patriots released cornerback Shawn Springs on Tuesday but haven’t ruled out re-signing him, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
For now, though, the team and 35-year-old player are going their separate ways, the source said.
“I’ll have teams calling me, and they won’t be [bad] teams,” Springs told The Boston Globe. “I’m cool. I would come back to New England. I wish them the best. I’m going to miss those guys.”
Springs told the Globe that he had arthroscopic knee surgery in January, though he stressed that the injury was not the reason why he was released.
“It’s not a knee issue,” he told the newspaper.
Click here to read the full article – By of ESPN.com
Quarterback Tom Brady reiterated Wednesday that he thought last year’s New England Patriots team was not mentally tough and, looking back, indicated there was a “lack of trust, lack of confidence” within the team.
The Patriots’ struggles in the second half of games in 2009 were well chronicled. Of their six losses, they were leading at the half in four of them and tied in another. The Patriots were outscored 94-38 in the second half of their six losses. In addition to their second-half struggles, the Patriots were just 2-6 on the road.
“When it comes down to it, games that we lose in the fourth quarter, games that we lose in the second half, or losing on the road like we did, that can be lack of trust, lack of confidence,” Brady said in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI on Wednesday morning. “There are a lot of issues you have when that repeats itself time and time again over the course of the season.”
The Patriots’ up-and-down 2009 season was punctuated by a 33-14 blowout loss to the Ravens in the divisional playoffs. Brady threw four interceptions in the game and the Patriots fell behind 24-0 in the first quarter.
Click here to read the full article – By Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com
Randy Moss stared at the scoreboard after his third touchdown catch and saw a fan wearing a Randy Moss mask on the screen.
The real Randy — the one who played hard Sunday — stood on the sideline with a huge grin as he made his parting-of-the-defense motion, sweeping his arms from his chest to his sides.
“That was very entertaining,” Moss said after the New England Patriots clinched the AFC East title with a 35-7 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. “I had a lot of my teammates wanting me to mess with the guy. So he put a little humor into it and I enjoyed it.”
After his last home game, a 20-10 win over Carolina, several Panthers questioned his effort. So did Patriots fans the following week. But on Sunday they chanted his name, “Randy, Randy, Randy.”
And Moss, who has sold the mask on his Web site , appreciated it.
Click here to read the full article – By Associated Press of ESPN.com
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The big play was the big problem.
Identifying the big plays of the Saints’ explosive offense as what doomed his team in a 38-17 loss on Monday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick stood by his defense yesterday.
“I have confidence in our players, in our coaches, in our scheme, and I think we’ve been competitive defensively all year,” Belichick said in a conference call. “Not that we’ve been perfect by any means. We’ve had times where we’ve had some problems like any defense has. But from a league-wide basis we’ve been pretty competitive, but we weren’t (Monday) night.”
The Saints averaged a franchise-record 9.6 yards per play and quarterback Drew Brees averaged an astounding 16.1 yards per pass attempt as New Orleans torched the Pats defense.
Brees hit Devery Henderson on a 33-yard completion on the first play from scrimmage, the first of seven Saints plays that gained 25 yards or more. The ugliest was a 75-yard TD pass to a wide-open Henderson.
“We just had a blown call,” Pats defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. “It was disappointing (Monday) because it wasn’t exactly a call that was a new call. It’s something that we have done numerous, numerous times. We even actually had the communication and for whatever reason, (the defender) froze and it happened.”
Click here to read the full article – By Boston Herald
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