Yes, I said it. Losing the Super Bowl could possibly be the best thing for the New England Patriots. Don’t get me wrong, as a die-hard Patriots fan I was crushed when they lost the Super Bowl for the second time, especially since I’m from New Jersey. Giants fans there are relentless about their second big victory over Brady. Sadness aside, the loss actually has a huge silver lining for the Patriots.
Let’s start with the face of the franchise, Tom Brady. As any Patriot fan knows, the thing he hates most, aside from the Jets and people criticizing his Uggs, is losing. He is his biggest critic and surely feels the immense weight of the loss. Even now, three Super Bowls and two MVP awards later, he still has the chip on his shoulder about being overlooked in the 2000 draft until the sixth round. This past year, his passing yard achievement and the fact that he carried a team with the league’s worst defense into the super bowl, were overlooked. People say he’s old and he has lost his magic. Believe me, Brady has heard all of this and will want to prove everyone wrong. You watch, he will come into the 2012-13 season with guns blazing.
Now let’s look at the rest of the team. Had the Patriots won the Super Bowl, many of the gaping holes in their team would have most likely gone overlooked by the fans and franchise. Now that the dust has settled from the Super Bowl loss, they are going to stack this team to show the world the Brady-Belichick duo hasn’t lost any power. They must address a deep passing threat and the defense.
They have a multitude of options for a deep threat receiver this year, with prime targets including Reggie Wayne, Mike Wallace, and Brandon Lloyd, who would re-unite with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. The idea of Brady throwing to Wayne excites me like watching highlights of Brady to Moss in 2007. This deep threat would stretch defenses and allow slot receivers like Welker and the “Boston TE Party” to wreak havoc. Defenses, beware.
On the other side of the ball, the Patriots absolutely need to improve their defense if they even have a thought of a Super Bowl return. Andre Carter and Rob Ninkovich turned out to be defensive monsters along with Vince Wilfork this year, but they need to draft a stellar pass rusher. Pressuring the quarterback and stopping 3rd down conversions are crucial. That being said, the secondary needs to be re-vamped. Ras-I Dowling playing this year has the potential to cut back on the yards allowed per game, but drafting Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins would be an excellent addition. The addition of these two players would allow Belichick to start Devon McCourty as safety along with Pat Chung. Mark my words, if the Patriots make adjustments like these, I’ll be writing about our chances in Super Bowl XLVII.