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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.
The regular season has not been the problem for the New England Patriots, however that regular season success has not carried over into the playoffs. New England’s 28-21 home loss to rival New York in the Divisional Round made it their third consecutive playoff loss and second opening round loss in 2 years. In fact, the Patriots have not won a game sincethe 2007 AFC Championship game before losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. During those 3 years, the Patriots compiled a 35-13 record, one of the top marks in the NFL. In 2011, New England hopes a host of new players can restore their playoff dominance and help them return to the Super Bowl.
Quarterback Tom Brady returns to the helm of the offense coming off of a remarkable season that saw him toss 36 touchdowns with only 4 picks, mostly without Randy Moss. Over the course of the year Brady threw 335 passes without an interception, a new league record. BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Kevin Faulk return to man the running back position with company from a couple of rookies. New England drafted Shane Vereen out of California in the second round and Stevan Ridley from LSU in the third to infuse some youth at the position. Wes Welker is in his second year off of a torn ACL suffered late in 2009 and should bounce back after an understandably difficult 2010. Deion Branch returned to the team via trade in the middle of the year, but failed to break 50 catches. Coming over from Cincinatti via trade is the always entertaining Chad Ochocinco. Ochocinco butted heads often with the Bengals coaching staff and management. They finally decided enough was enough and dealt him to New England for a relatively low draft pick considering his talent. If he can regain his old form, Ochocinco could provide Brady with his best downfield target since Randy Moss. The Patriots also boast one of the best tight end tandems in the league with the young duo of second year players Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The offensive line will likely be improved with a full year from Logan Mankins who held out the maximum allotted time in 2010.
The Patriots made many more splashes on defense, particularly the defensive line. Looking to show more 4-3 alignment this season, New England needed more big bodies up front. Bill Bellicheck sent a 5th round pick to Washington for much maligned defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. A motivated Hayneswoth with Vince Wilfork will give them a pair of mammoth disrupters in the middle. Joining those two in the trenches will be former Jet Shaun Ellis and Andre Carter. With the new acquisitions many teams will struggle with containing the New England’s revamped defensive line. The linebacking corps is solid with stud Jerod Mayo, Brandon Siler, and Rob Ninkovich. Manning the cornerback positions are Devin McCourty, coming off a very impressive rookie season, and Leigh Bodden. Patrick Chung and Brandon Meriweather round out the defensive backfield at the safety positions.
The Patriots will always be Super Bowl contenders as long as they are led by MVP candidate Tom Brady, and fortunately he is in command again this year. Brady could have an even more talented array of weapons to work with this year. If the newly acquired players on defense work out, the Patriots will be in very good shape. Regardless the offense is prepared to compete in shootouts if necessary. The Patriots will be challenged by Rex Ryan and the Jets, but look for them to take the division crown anyway.
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 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
Just as the New England Patriots retained Vince Wilfork, they have done the same with defensive end Derrick Burgess.
The Patriots and Burgess reached agreement on a one-year contract, a league source said Friday morning. The agreement enables New England to continue to stockpile defensive linemen.
Already this offseason, the Patriots have signed Wilfork and Gerard Warren to go along with pass rusher Tully Banta-Cain.
New England and Burgess have had dialogue since before the free-agent signing period started the first week of March.
Click here to read the full article – By Adam Schefter 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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