Now that Super Bowl 52 is in the record books it’s time to open another chapter for the New England Patriots. The Patriots are coming off a stunning loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, the story of the game was backup quarterback Nick Foles. Foles took over late in the season after an injury to starter Carson Wentz. Foles put the critics behind him and led the underrated Eagles to a 41-33 victory. Not to mention throwing for 373 yards and compiling a 97.5 % passing rating. But through everything Patriots, fans have reason to be optimistic for the upcoming 2018 season. In this post, we will review three areas why the Patriots defense is Super Bowl material. Why The Patriots Defense Is Super Bowl Material
Improved Front Seven Anyone who is a fan of Bill Belichick knows how much he thrives on depth and versatility. Despite not playing Malcolm Butler in The Super Bowl he retooled the defense in the offseason. Previous Patriot defenses have a reputation for their strong front seven. The first order of business was to improve the pass rush which was non_ existent in the Super Bowl. Free agent defensive end Adrian Clayborn was signed from Atlanta. Clayborn Clayborn a seven_ year veteran has started 81 career games. The former 1st round draft pick by Tampa will provide depth and pass rushing skills In addition to Clayborn the team signed defensive tackle Danny Shelton from Cleveland. Shelton a three_ year veteran has played in 46 career games totaling 71 career tackles. If Clayborn and Shelton can stay healthy, then they should be a vast improvement in stopping the oppositions running game. Improved Pass Coverage In 2017 the club gave up a total of 4400 yards passing. In the Super Bowl, Foles had a career day throwing for 373 yards To shore up the defensive backfield Belichick drafted cornerback Duke Dawson out of Florida. Dawson who has a reputation of being an exceptional cover man and should provide depth when the team goes to dime coverage. Also joining the backfield is former Brown Jason McCourty. McCourty, the younger brother of safety Devin, brings eight years experience to the organization. Overall, McCourty has played in 122 career games with 16 interceptions and one touchdown. With the addition of his brother Devin and Stephon Gilmore, the backfield should be much more dangerous in pass coverage.
Fresh Outlook With a new defensive coordinator in Brian Flores, the Patriots have reasons to be optimistic this year. Even though the team lost one of the best defensive minds in the game in Matt Patricia, the Patriots defense should be better with the acquisitions of Shelton and Clayborn on the line. Also, keep in mind 2016 3rd round pick Derek Rivers. Rivers was one of the teams four picks in the deflate_ gate scandal. Rivers who is a pass rushing specialist out of Youngstown State. Rivers suffered a season_ ending knee injury during pre_ season last summer. If he can recuperate from surgery, look for him to compete for a starting position as an edge rusher.,
Now that the Patriots have moved on after suffering a 41-33 loss to the Eagles it’s time to restructure through the draft. Currently, the Patriots have six picks whether Bill Belichick keeps his first_ round pick remains to be seen. In this post, we’ll analyze the Patriots needs.
The Nfl Draft 2018 Analyzing the Patriots Needs
Pass Rush, For those of us who witnessed the Eagles run wild against the defense .it’s safe to say the team lacks an effective pass rusher. Eagle running back LeGarrette Blount averaged 3.1 yards per carry This is truly an embarrassing statistic whether it’s the Super Bowl or a regular season game.Some quality defensive tackles that may be available at 31 are Michigan’s, Maurice Hurst. Hurst had 56 tackles last year 12 which went for a loss An interesting prospect is RJ McIntosh of Miami Fla also could be available.He had 56 tackles to his credit 12 which were for a loss. Mc Intosh was one of the best players in the country last year. Another name to keep an eye on is USC’s Rasheem Green. Green had 46 tackles last year and had an impressive 10 sacks. Pass Coverage; Not only did the Eagles run all over the Patriots Foles had one of his best days as a pro by throwing for 300 yards. Even though cornerback Malcolm Butler was benched by Belichick moments before the game New England’s secondary was lost. This year’s secondary class is deep with quality cornerbacks and safety’s. Two names to keep an eye on are Pittsburgh’s Jordan Whitehead and Stanford’ s Justin Reid. Reid was one of the best safety’s in the country last year has he had 99 tackles and six interceptions. Whitehead is one of the most physical defenders in the country who can also play receiver. Ronnie Harrison of Alabama could be a mid _round pick. Harrison had 70 tackles last year plus 2 sacks.
The Patriots suffered a huge loss in free agency with the loss of tackle Nate Solder signing with the Giants. With two second round picks look for the team to draft a tackle and a blocking tight end. Brian Oniel of Pittsburgh is one of the best linemen in the draft who can also play tight end. Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagalli is one of the best blocking tight ends who could be available. As we have seen many times in the Belichick era, he has a history of trading his first pick for mid _round picks. This year may be no exception since the Patriots traded Jimmy Garoppolo in October.
After three weeks of the 2017 football season, the New England Patriots have several red flags that seriously need improvement. Coming off their fifth Super Bowl win this year is no different. New England is an organization that demands excellence. But their are some areas concerning the team. Area number one is the pass protection; Last week against the Saints Tom Brady was sacked three times one sack resulted in a fumble ran back for a touchdown. The Patriots have all their lineman returning from a year ago. Since the season opener against Kansas City, Brady has been under constant pressure. Veteran tackle Nate Solder has been a huge disappointment, so far getting beat on mostly every snap this season. I f the protection doesn’t get better his days as a Patriot may come to an end. Special teams has been another area of concern, for New England. Long time kicker Stephen Gostowski has lost the confidence of the fans,after last years poor playoff performance. Punter Ryan Allen has been sub parr so far this season. After three games this season Allen has been averaging only 35/40 yards per punt. Defense has been the biggest disappointment, this season. Normally the Patriots rank close to the top,but this year the team ranks towards the bottom. Safety Devin McCourty leads the team with 23 solo tackles. In the off season the Patriots went out and signed Buffalo free agent corner Stephon Gilmore. After three games Gilmore has look lost and confused, but does have one interception. Controversial corner back Malcom Butler has been also off missing several assignments. If the defense doesn’t play better, head coach Bill Belicheck may have no choice but to trade some veterans for help up front. Veterans such as Alan Branch and Malcom Butler need to step up if they want to keep their jobs. For a team coming off their fifth Super Bowl win the Patriots realize that their are several areas of concern. Bill Belichick will not stand for complacency; With the NFL trade deadline a couple of weeks away Belichick won’t hesitate, to make deals in order to improve the Patriots.