Sep 12, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) celebrates after a sack of New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Fans Are Thankful For ____

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Nov 22, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) takes a bite of turkey drumstick after the game against the New York Jets on Thanksgiving at Metlife Stadium. The Patriots won the game 49-19. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

First, I’d like to wish all of our readers a very happy Thanksgiving! Musket Fire is incredibly thankful to have such awesome readers like you! As New England Patriot fans, we have arguably the most fortunate fan-base in the past decade or so because of our team. We’ve gotten to celebrate three Super Bowl championships and two other appearances, two MVP awards for Tom Brady, a 16-0 season, and season after season of 11+ wins with perennial playoff contention. Although this off-season was a tough one for the Patriots and their fans, the team is still 8-3 and a legitimate contender to win the AFC for the second time in three years.

Our staff each weighed in and told me what in particular they were thankful for as a Patriots fan (besides the obvious Brady-Belichick combo):

 

Cyrus Geller: “I’m thankful for the return of Gronk! It really helped our offense take off.”

 

Jed Ober: “I’m happy for a healthy offense an impending playoff run!”

 

J.T. McGrath: “I’m thankful for the Lombardi trinity we currently house at Gillette Stadium and for the luxury of enjoying yearly contender status. #BostonStrong”

 

 

Matt Wincherauk: “I’m thankful for Chandler Jones turning into a Pro-Bowl caliber defensive end. I remember last year when everyone made fun of this Patriots pick, but Mr. Jones has proven everyone wrong, as he’s not only become a top pass rusher, but a great all around defensive lineman as well.”

 

Adam Burt: “I am thankful for the steady play of Julian Edelman. With the top skill players from last year all gone, and the top skill players on this team missing time due to injury or ineffective play, Edelman has continued to be a steady presence and more importantly a target that Brady trusts. Last weeks game against the Broncos displayed how far he has come as a receiver, in addition to his excellent punt return abilities. He is no longer just a clone of Welker.”

 

Adam Sheppard: “I am thankful for the secondary figuring out what they are actually good at: Devin McCourty becoming a top quality safety, and Kyle Arrington setting up as a quality slot corner cover man. McCourty as a corner scared the crap out of me. He seemed to be beaten over and over on the outside, and if he wasn’t then it was because he committed pass interference 60 yards downfield. Seeing him in coverage worried me as much as Kyle Arrington having to cover an outside receiver does now. But McCourty moving to safety, and Arrington to the slot has played to both of their skills, and taken the Pats secondary from being terrifyingly bad whenever the opposition threw the ball to a squad that helped hold Peyton Manning to 150 yards and a pick. It finally looks like some highly drafted defensive backs are coming good.”

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