Nov 23, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) prepares to make a pass during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
2. Offensive Line Is Legit
I have been asked many times throughout this Patriots’ win streak what has changed for them since that debacle in Kansas City, and there are a number of reasons why they have turned the corner. We can’t attribute just one thing to their sudden rise. But in my opinion, the number one difference from the 2-2 Patriots to the 9-2 Patriots, is the play of the offensive line.
Bill Belichick has finally settled on a starting five that he can stay consistent with, and the results have been tremendous. And as great as they were against the Bills, Bengals, Jets, and Broncos, their performance against Ndamukong Suh and company was the best they have looked all year. Detroit came into the game with the number one ranked defense, and by far the best front four in football. They were physical, and they loved to get after the quarterback.
They gave up zero sacks. Tom Brady dropped back a whopping 53 times, and wasn’t sacked at all. In fact, he was only hit four times, as he had all day to pick apart Detroit’s secondary. We all know about the greatness of Tom Brady, and all of the weapons he has at his disposal. Rob Gronkowski is a beast, and Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell can win most of the 1-on-1 matchups they are given. I love what I have seen from LaFell this year, as he has brought that outside presence that has been missing in New England since 2009. You need guys that can win on the outside come postseason time, and that is exactly what LaFell brings to the table.
But I digress.
This offensive line will be the determining factor in whether or not New England wins a Super Bowl come February. And based on what we saw yesterday, they are more than capable of doing so.