Season Preview: New England Patriots

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With the NFL pre-season just a month away we start looking at NFL rosters. This is not so much a season preview per say but instead a look at what each team has done over the off season. Today we start with the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.
Like it or not Tom Brady has proved his ability to be an elite NFL QB is not fading with age. In fact he may be getting better. Brady is the cog that keeps the Patriots machine moving and cranking out Super Bowls. Even if Brady got hurt waiting in the wings is Jimmy Garappolo one of the best backup QBs the league has ever seen. It will be a big year for this QB position though and a tough choice for the Patriots organization at the end of the year do they give Jimmy G a contract that makes him the QB of the future? Or do they keep thinking win now if Brady is still dominating and let him walk?
The Patriots backfield is a stable. You run a guy for 300 yards one week the next you put him out to pasture and start the next great triple down crown back. James white the Super bowl hero has the distinctive edge as a week one starter but don’t expect him to carry the load all year long. If you play fantasy football stay away from the Patriot back field.
Staying away from the Patriot backfield in fantasy is a no brainer. What’s even more of a no brainer? Take their receiving core. This offense has a chance of being one of the greatest of all time. Top ten NFL receiver Brandon Cooks joined the Pats after being traded from the Saints and break out receiver Chris Hogan will have an even better year. Not to mention you have the best tight end of all time in Rob Gronkowski and a sure fire all pro in Julian Edelman. If there is a weakness it may be tight end Gronks backup is former Colts tight end Dwayne Allen. He is nowhere near the replacement Martellus Bennet was last year and with Gronks injury history will most likely be called on this year. This is a delicate year though for the tight ends however. Rob Gronkowski gets injured every year and the Pats are always forced to find a replacement for him with his contract coming up it is crucial he stay healthy this year and once again prove his worth to this organization.
I won’t jive you I can’t accurately judge offensive line play. No one in the football world can really except for offensive lineman. The word out of New England though is that this line remains dominant as ever and if they stay healthy remain Super Bowl ready.
As always Bill Belichiks defense is plug and play. However, this is a huge year for Malcom Butler. The subject of trade rumors this offseason he must up his stock by out preforming high expectations this year. If he can he puts the Patriots in a massive bind this offseason. This season may not be a challenge for the Pats but for the first time in a long time they have several star-studded contracts up at the end of the year. They will have to make some very tough decisions that will shape the organizations future but for now all is well in Foxboro and they are most definitely thinking back to back.

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