- 08/08/2011, 05:58PM ET
JimJ77 RIP Mil Town Pride said 08/08, 05:59 PM
My pick is of course the New England Patriots
The Pats are coming off a 14-2 regular season last year. The offense remains intact and they have upgraded the WR position with the addition of Ochocinco. Tom Brady guides the NFL's highest scoring unit, and is in the prime of his career.
The Tight Ends, Gronkowski and Hernandez should be improved, as the biggest leap for an NFL player is in between years 1 and 2. I look for the offense to be as potent as ever.
The additions of Haynesworth, Carter, Ellis will only strengthen the D line as they join Vince Wilfork who is one of the best in the business. With the team transitioning to more of a 4-3 defense this will free up LBs Mayo and Guyton to roam and make plays with their speed. Spikes is a thumper in the middle and will bring a physicality to the defense they need.
In the back end, McCourty proved last season that he will be a top corner for many seasons to come. The #1 corner from the year before, Bodden is back in the fold. Add in Chung and Meriweather and the Pats are strong in the secondary.
The Pats are still the class of the division, and it will be tough for the Jets to make up 3 games on them this year.
uncle teabags said 08/09, 05:44 PM
since i agree with you and the winner has to keep argueing the same team for the rest of the tourney we will debate the year the pats are about to have...
while i agree the offensive has stayed intact for the most part and they did upgrade at reciever, i think they could have done a better job at finding a running back over the offseason, there were many options they had with cutting taylor and going after either a) rookie such as mark ingram (who the pats traded the pick away for) or going after a free agent like willis mcgahee or ricky williams. granted green-ellis did have a 1000 yard year last year i still would consider him one of the only ?'s
the other hole i see is a blocking tight end/full back. gronk and hernandez are both great recieving tight ends but last year it was crumpler who did most of the blocking for the pats running game and with the cutting of crumpler that leaves a pretty big hole there.
the pats did draft lee smith as a blocking tightend but that is alot to ask out of a rookie.
since we both agree, per the conversation we had via fanmail we can debate the outcome of the season...
JimJ77 RIP Mil Town Pride said 08/09, 06:48 PM
The Pats have Green-Ellis returning who rushed for over a 1,000 yards and was 2nd in the NFL with 13 rushing TD's. They also bring back Woodhead who had a combined 926 yards and 6 TD's.
The Pats went out and drafted Vareen in the 2nd and Ridley in the 3rd round. They also re-signed both Morris and Faulk, and are hoping 1 hangs on and fills out the RB depth.
The Pats were 9th in rushing offense and 2nd in rushing TD's, so I do not see the necessity in bringing another back in.
As much as I liked Crumpler he became expendable with the emergence of Gronkowski and Hernandez last season. The drafting of Lee Smith, who has shown flashes in camp with his hands and blocking also was the death knell for Crumpler.
Also Gronk showed last season that he is a savage as a blocking TE. Something Smith is also known for.
The offense led the NFL in scoring last season and remain pretty much intact. Money being allocated to the defense was the Pats top priority, not the 4th RB or 3rd TE on the depth chart. Its obvious the Pats are filling those positions with youth, which is the smart move to make.
All in all I like what the Pats have on offense. The best offense in the AFC East.
uncle teabags said 08/09, 10:22 PM
when he is at his best green-ellis has flashes of good. if he is playing against a shut down d he dances in the backfield and is constantly hit behind the line. To go with his 13 touchdowns he also had 13 fumbles.in his 1000 yard season there was a 13 yard game, 3 20 yard games, and a 38 yard game, not exactly fantasy numbers. woodhead isnt exactly a up the gut running back and the rest of the backfield is in their 30's. mark ingram would have been a better fit than vareen.
bob kraft makes more money off of that team than he and his grandkids will ever be able to spend so if there is no reason they can not use as much of the salary cap as possible. which i think they still have about 3 million to spend.
as far as the rest of the afc east i believe they have enough to sweep the division, but i think they will go 5-1 in the afc east and go 13-3 and have homefield advantage through the playoffs.
JimJ77 RIP Mil Town Pride said 08/10, 02:57 PM
13 fumbles for Green-Eillis? He has zero for his career. He takes care of the ball and runs hard.
The Pats are a pass first team, so a guy like Vareen would make more sense for their offense than Ingram. Also, I don't value RB's that highly, and the Pats do not draft them in the 1st round. They are fine at RB.
Like I stated previously, the defense was the primary concern, especially the front 7. They've gone out and addressed the D line by picking up guys like Haynerworth, Ellis, and Carter. With the team moving to more of a 4-3 look, LB depth becomes less of a worry. Mayo is a stud, Spikes, Guyton, Cunningham, and Nincovich are solid players.
The secondary is strong with McCourty who is a top flight corner, and Bodden returning. I look for Chung to step up his game again, to pair aside Meriweather. Ras-I Dowling was drafted with the 33rd pick and provides depth.
The Pats will be in the hunt as always. They were 14-2 last season, which was a little over their heads but have improved the team, especially the defense.
I think they drop off to a 13-3 or 12-4 record but still win the AFC East, and will have a stronger team heading into the playoffs than last season.
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