iJul 27, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) leads the team through drills during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
When us fans watch their favorite football team play on Sunday, there is a variety of things that we like to observe. Sometimes we just watch and enjoy the game, and hope that our squad comes away with the victory. Other times we like to analyze what has transpired, and debate among each other what has to be done within the franchise to improve their current state. In my opinion, chief among the things that football fans enjoy about the game, is the stats that go along with it. Stats can be talked about for hours at a time, and some people make a living off analyzing different statistics. Fans love to talk about stats, and that is why I am going to attempt to predict how each offensive player in New England, will fare statistically speaking in 2013.
Tom Brady: Completions: 365, Attempts: 567, Yards: 4,693, TD’s: 36, INT: 10
Obviously, Brady is going to be Brady, and that means near perfection every Sunday. However I do think that this year Brady won’t have to throw the football as much, because Stevan Ridley will be getting a lot more carries to help take the pressure off of Tommy. Brady will still be putting up very good numbers, and will benefit greatly from his new “explosive” receiving group.
Stevan Ridley: Attempts: 305, Yards: 1,520, TD’s: 13, Catches: 8, Yards: 56, Receiving TD’s: 0
As I just mentioned, I think that Ridley will have to shoulder a larger load in 2013, to not only take some pressure off of Brady and the passing game, but to maximize his skills as a running back. Ridley is one of the best young guys in the game, and he will only grow as a player. The major flaw in Ridley’s game has been his ability to hold onto the football, but I am confident that he will fix this flaw, and have a (mostly) fumble free 2013.
Shane Vereen: Attempts: 60, Yards: 330, TD’s: 4, Catches: 29 Yards: 314, Receiving TD’s: 1
Vereen has the task of filling in for departed free agent Danny Woodhead, and that is no small task. Woodhead was a great third down, change of pace back, and the Pats let him go knowing that they had Vereen in their back pocket. Vereen is extremely athletically gifted, and based on that alone, I think he will have a solid season. But I do think that he will be “cut out” to a certain extent, because of all the new talent New England has brought in. I think there will be a much larger focus on Ridley and the new receivers, instead of Vereen. With that being said, I still think Vereen will finish up 2013 in a very productive fashion.
Brandon Bolden: Attempts: 40, Yards: 220, TD’s: 3, Catches: 2, Yards: 35, Receiving TD’s 0
Much like Vereen, I think that Bolden will not be getting a large portion of the carries among the running backs in the upcoming season. Bolden has some potential, but I think that this year is not the time for Bolden to showcase it. I believe 2013 will be the year of Ridley and the young receivers, and because of that, Bolden will not get as many carries as he would probably like.
Leon Washington: Attempts: 10, Yards: 72, TD’s: 0, Catches: 12, Yards: 117, Receiving TD’s: 1
Most of Washington’s duties as a New England Patriot will be as a kick returner, and I think he will excel in that role. As a running back, he probably won’t be getting may touches, but when he does, I expect him to electrify the playing field.
Danny Amendola: Catches: 84, Yards: 1,037, TD’s: 5
Danny Amendola is a very talented wide receiver. He just hasn’t gotten the time to show it throughout his career because of some bad luck injuries. But I think this year is going to be the year he remains healthy for the entire season, and he will show why he is one of the top receivers in the NFL. Amendola has been billed as the “Wes Welker replacement”, but he is much more than that. Amendola can play inside, as well as on the outside, as he is is a very quick guy, with exceptional route running abilities, and a solid set of hands. With all the new weapons the Pats will be running out onto the field in 2013, Amendola will be getting a lot of quality opportunities in the coming season.
Aaron Dobson: Catches: 61, Yards: 1,002, TD’s: 7
That’s right. I expect a 1,000 yards season in Mr. Dobson’s rookie year. That is how excited, and confident I am in this young player. Dobson had a fantastic college career, and from everything I have read, he has been just as good as advertised in training camp. He has good size, he has good speed, and I think he will fit perfectly on the outside of the Pats offense. I believe he may be the answer to the Patriots outside receiver problem, and his 2013 campaign will confirm this belief.
Julian Edelman: Catches: 35, Yards: 434, TD’s: 4
With all the hype concerning the rookie wide receivers, and all the newcomers throughout training camp, I think we are all forgetting about this man. Julian Edelman has showed (when he is healthy) that he can be a very explosive football player. He is very versatile, and he will make an impact for the Pats in 2013 because of his versatility. The Patriots will have a unique opportunity with him and Amendola, because I think that Edelman resembles a poor man’s Amendola. They both can play on the inside or the outside, and this could present the Pats with some unique opportunities on offense.
Josh Boyce: Catches: 27, Yards: 380, TD’s: 2
Boyce is another young receiver that has impressed at camp, and I think he will get a good amount of playing time in the upcoming season. Boyce is another versatile receiver, and versatile players have been known to succeed in the Patriots system. Boyce has some developing to do, (as well as Dobson does) but I think both of them will make a solid impact on this Pats team in 2013.
Michael Jenkins: Catches: 6, Yards: 73, TD’s: 0
I think that Jenkins will make the Pats final roster, but it will be more for off the field things rather than on the field production. Jenkins is a veteran receiver that can teach the young guys a lot, but when it comes to playing football, I think he will find himself on the sidelines for the majority of the year.
Rob Gronkowski: Catches: 56, Yards: 770, TD’s: 11
I am counting on Gronk missing a couple of weeks to start the season when I come up with these numbers, and even with him doing that, I think he will still produce very well for New England. Gronk is an absolute machine, and when he is healthy, there is not a bigger mismatch in the NFL.
Jake Ballard: Catches: 39, Yards: 337, TD’s: 4
Ballard is a talented tight end, and if Gronk misses time, he will have to pick up the slack until he gets back. I think Ballard will be up to the challenge, and Brady will target his big frame until Brady’s other big frame returns to action.
Zack Sudfeld: Catches: 6, Yards: 62, TD’s 1
I don’t think Sudfeld will make much of an impact for the Pats mostly due to his inexperience. The Pats have a couple other guys that are much more qualified, and with all the young pieces coming together in this Patriots offense, I think this will be a place where the coaching staff will want a veteran out there.
Michael Hoomanawanui: Catches: 10, Yards: 76, TD’s: 0
Hooman is a very good blocking tight end, and he will make a much bigger impact on the Pats offense than these numbers suggest. He really helped the offensive line in 2012, and I expect him to do the same in 2013.