Patriots Success In 2020 Hinges Solely On The Defense

With the 2020 NFL season kicking off Sunday, The Patriot’s success hinges solely on the defense. With a new quarterback in Cam Newton, the team’s defense will be the key to their success., Last season, for example, the defense led the league in interceptions 23 and blocked punts 6. In this post, we will review three reasons the defense will be a major role in the organization’s outcome.

Patriots Success IN 2020 Hinges Solely On  The Defense                                                                                                                                                               

League High In Opt _Outs  For starters, the Patriots had a league_ high of eight opt_ outs. Team captain Donta Hightower is the most notable member to sit out the season.  After Hightower, the next player is Patrick Chung. Chung is a vital contributor to the third downs. Other missing pieces are Duron Harmon and Elandon Roberts.

Head coach Bill Belichick installing youth movement on defense. Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, and Chase Winovich, and Jonathan Simon will lead the linebacking unit.

As for pass coverage, that remains the team’s strongest area.  Third_Year man JC Jackson has emerged as one of the leagues best. Stephon Gilmore is the best shut down back in the game.

Difficulty In Stopping the Run, The Patriot’s biggest challenge last year was stopping the run. Lamar Jackson of the Ravens had a field day mid_ way through the season last year.                

 Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ran for 183 yards in the wild card game.  If the Patriots have any hope of postseason dreams, they have to stop the run _heavy teams.                         

 

Front Seven Needs To Step It Up With the loss of Donta Hightower, the team will have to rely on the front seven. Adam Butler, Dieatrich Wise, and Lawrence Guy need to apply pressure. Newly signed Beau Allen has yet to step on the field.

Conclusion   The landscape has changed without Tom Brady. The Patriots have the game’s best head coach in Bill Belichick. With a thin receiving group,  Cam Newton has his challenges.  Look for a strong running game, especially from Cam Newton. My prediction is the Patriots will go 7-10 with Cam Newton calling the signals.

Why The Patriots Need To Focus On Defense in This Year’s Draft

With the upcoming NFL draft weeks away, the Patriots need to focus on defense in this year’s draft. In this post, we will focus on three areas the team needs to focus on defense in the upcoming draft.

 

Why The Patriots Need To Focus On Defense In This Year’s Draft                   

Mass  Exodus Of Defensive Players  So far this offseason, several key members have left. Leaving for fresher pastures were Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, Danny Shelton, and Duron Harmon have moved on.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Succeeding them will not be easy. Overall, the Patriots were the number one ranked defense in the NFL last season. Head coach, Bill Belichick signed Beau Allen, and Adrian Phillips this past offseason. Allen will be an upgrade over Shelton. Adrian Phillips led the Chargers last year in tackles. He will be an upgrade over Duron Harmon.                                                                                       

 

Add Depth To The Front Seven   New England holds the 23rd pick in the first round. Depending on who is available a quality pick would be middle linebacker Zach Baun of Wisconsin. Baun is known for his versatility. He is both an excellent pass rusher and can drop back and cover.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       A J Espensea of Iowa would be a perfect Patriot fit. His mammoth size 6’5″ tall and 280 lbs. is what the Patriots look for. In three years at Iowa, Espenesa finished with 61 solo tackles and 40 assisted tackles plus one touchdown. Belichick has close ties with the head coach. KirkFerentz.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 A sleeper in the draft is Oklahomas linebacker Ken Murray. Murray 6’5” tall and 250 lbs is regarded as a third_ down linebacker. In three years at Oklahoma Murray finished with 325 tackles and 9.5 sacks. He also set a school record for making 28 tackles in one game.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Need To Get Younger Devin McCourty, Stephon Gilmore, and Donta Hightower are all over thirty. Hightower is at the end of a four _year deal. A deal that pays 35,000,000 dollars. Stephon Gilmore signed the most lucrative deal in Patriot history.  Devin McCourty agreed to a two-year extension this offseason.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             All three are valuable assets to the Patriot’s success. Last season the team had the number one defense in the NFL. If the team hopes to be in the playoff  conversation the defense will be a huge factor.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Upcoming Season     With the dramatic departure of Tom Brady, Patriots fans are bracing for the best. The Patriots have one of the oldest rosters in football. Relying on Jarrett Stidham to take over will take time. If the Patriots hope to win another Super Bowl it will be done with defense and exceptional coaching.

Why The Patriots Defense Is Super Bowl Material

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.,