The New England Patriots have been an exciting team to watch since the first game of the 2007 season. Offensively they have been a well oiled passing team. They have led the league or been in the top 5 in scoring in each of the subsequent seasons except in 2008 when Tom Brady went down with an ACL tear. They have won 76 out of a possible 96 games in that span or what equals out to be a remarkable 79% of the time. One thing is missing a Super Bowl ring. For all the points scored and records broken the Pats have not hoisted the Lombardi since after the 2004 season.
Starting in the 2007 playoffs the Patriots have lost their final game of the season. Many have blamed the defense. I have been on the other end feeling the offense has let this team down in the playoffs. In 2007 the Pats averaged 36.8 points per game during the season. They lost Super Bowl 42, 17-14. In 2009 they averaged 27.7 points per game yet lost to the Ravens 33-14. 2010 showed the Pats averaging 32.4 points per game yet lost to the Jets 28-21. 2011 32.1 points per game. Losing the Super Bowl again to the Giants 21-17 Finally last year the Pats offense scored 34.8 points per game and lost to the Ravens 28-13 at home. If the offense had just scored their average the Patriots would have gone 4 and 1 in those games with the 1 loss being to the Ravens in the 2009 playoffs.
While fans have pointed to both losses to the Giants in the Super Bowls to if the Patriots defense had just made a key stop they would have been champions. I am here to say if the offense had just made more plays or converted another first down here or there the pats are 5-0 in the Belichick/Brady era in the big game. The offense wins games defense wins championships has been said over and over. It could never have been more correct. Ask yourself though in those losses to the Giants did the defense not do enough? Are 17 and 21 points against not enough for the Patriots offense to pull the game out? Somewhere along the line the Patriots went from a ball control, time management offense to the Indianapolis Colts. Remember the Colts the high flying high scoring team the Patriots ousted from the playoffs in 2003 and 2004 to advance in the playoffs?
The 2003 Colts scored 27.9 points per game but lost to the Patriots 24-14 in the afc championship. The following season the Colts came into foxboro and lost 20-3 That Colts team had averaged 32.6 points a game in the regular season. Had the Colts offense had their average game we may have been talking about Peyton Manning winning 3 Super Bowls and not Tom Brady.
Its clear that good defenses beat one dimensional offenses in the playoffs. The Patriots have been easy to defend for good defenses. Clog the middle of the field and you were able to shut down the Pats. With the offense not scoring the defense was counted on more and while they had some good games they didn’t make that one stop that everyone remembers.
This is why I am looking forward to the 2013 season for the Patriots. I see what the team has done this offseason. Many are upset with the loss of Welker. I feel it could be a blessing in disguise. With bringing in Danny Amendola, Donald Jones and Emanuel Sanders if the Steelers don’t match the Pats offer sheet, I see a return to a multidimensional offense. An offense where the favorite receiver is the open one. An offense that can chew up yardage by ground as well as by air. Look back 10 years and this 2013 offense could be the mirror image of the 2003 Super Bowl Champs.
This is how I see it. Brady was a 4th year QB at the time and while good was still coming into his own and was not asked to win every game. 2013 Tom Brady is a stud, who shouldn’t be asked to win games on his on with maybe 4 years left in his career. Stephan Ridley is Antowain Smith. A running back capable of picking up the 4 yards you need on 3rd and 3. Shane Vereen plays the role of Kevin Faulk the change of pace back who can run and catch equally as well. The part of Deion Branch is played by Sanders. A wide out who can line up all over the field and break a short catch into a long gain. Donald Jones has so many similarities to David Givens, from Height and weight to Skill set. Also Jones went to Youngstown state the town where Givens was born. Troy Brown is played by Amendola the security blanket. David Patten and JE11 are one in the same. Then of course you have Gronk and Hernadez doing a 2 fold impression of Fauria and Graham.
The 2013 team needs help from the defense too. And with some of the moves they have made they could be very solid. Talib gives you a cover corner like Ty Law. Free Safety McCourty fills the Eugene Wilson roll. While newly signed strong safety Wilson is not Harrison, he does bring a presence that hasn’t been seen back there since Rodney left. Vrabel is manned by Ninkovich. Washington by Wilfork. Seymour by Jones and McGinest by Mayo.
The 2003 Patriots Defense is the best I’ve witnessed as a Pats fan. The 2013 team could be really good. I am looking for big things from both sides of the ball this upcoming season. A return to our roots is needed. Nothing better then sending Tom Brady out the way he came in 3 championships in 4 years to end a brilliant career.
So calm down Patriots Nation. Belichick is building a team not a collection of fantasy football talent.
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