Thursday, September 9, 2010

2010 Preview: New England Patriots

2009 Record: 10-6

2009 Rankings:
Total Offense - 3
Run Offense - 12
Pass Offense - 3
Scoring Offense - 6
Total Defense - 11
Run Defense - 13
Pass Defense - 12
Scoring Defense - 5

If there ever was a year that the Patriots were vulnerable, this might be the year. Tom Brady's contract talks are still happening, Randy Moss wants contract talks to happen and is reverting to Diva-mode, and the coaches still aren't allowed to video tape other teams. On defense, New England radio should bring in Jerry Seinfeld to ask "Who are these people?!" any time they take the field. Their defense is almost entirely comprised of players that they drafted in the last 3 years. They gave up over 100 rushing yards in 10 games last season then got pounded by Baltimore for 234 on the ground in the playoffs. The Pats defense also got torched for 300+ through the air by passing powerhouses Miami and Denver last year.

On offense, everyone knows what Tom Brady can do with the ball in his hands. However, Randy Moss is disgruntled, and we all know Moss has a tendency to take plays off. Wes Welker is returning from a serious knee injury and Julian Edelman is a capable #3 but doesn't bring the dynamism to the offense that the Patriots had back in '07 when they ran through the league. Their running game is nothing to sneeze at, but also lacks a truly consistent back. None of New England's 5 RBs had more than 800 rushing yards, and only Laurence Maroney's 757 surpassed the 400-yard mark.

So we've just spent two paragraphs talking about how vulnerable New England is this year. What does that mean? This pack of douchebags will probably go out and post a 12-4 record. Are we picking them to have that good of a season? Definitely not. However we really wouldn't be shocked if they did. They could also go 7-9. With Brady at the helm, they're good enough to beat anyone. But with their inexperienced defense, they're also lackluster enough on that side of the ball to give up a ton of yards to a mediocre offense and lose the game.

Ian's Prediction: 9-7

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