After winning a remarkable fifth title and breaking countless records, there is still one huge goal left for the New England Patriots to accomplish.
2017 will mark the ten-year anniversary of the New England Patriots‘ historic 2007 season, in which they fell one game short of perfection at the hands of the Giants. In Super Bowl 49, the Pats renewed their championship status on the ten year anniversary of their last title, Super Bowl 39. In 2017, we could see that trend continue, as the Patriots will be out to finish what they started a decade ago.
Starting in March, Bill Belichick has put together an offseason that might suggest everything was on the line in 2017. One would think he’s looking for his first ring, not his eighth and sixth as a head coach. The acquisitions he has made are reminiscent of those in the spring of 2014 when he brought in Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in an effort to patch up a secondary that was ripped to shreds just months prior by Peyton Manning.
With Malcolm Butler staying in a Patriot uniform for at least another year, the addition of Stephon Gilmore might give Bill Belichick the best secondary he’s had to work with in Foxboro. The Pats were also able to keep Pro-Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower and revamp the front four. The roles of Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard will be filled by Kony Ealy and the rookie duo of Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise. New England’s defense ranked first in scoring last year, so the fact that it could actually be better in 2017 is a scary thought.
On the other side of the ball, the addition of star wideout Brandin Cooks, as well as pass catchers Andrew Hawkins and Dwayne Allen might give Tom Brady the best arsenal of weapons he’s ever had to work with. They’ll join an already elite receiving corps of Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, a returning Rob Gronkowski, and Danny Amendola. Replacing LeGarrette Blount with Mike Gillislee in the backfield will also prove to be a big upgrade, as Gillislee’s vision and explosiveness quietly made him one of the league’s best and most efficient running backs in 2016.
The Patriots aren’t exactly a team trying to turn things around, they’re coming off another championship season in which they went 14-2. This offseason has given them the firepower to do the only thing that could transcend yet another title: Complete the perfect season.