NFL New England Patriots

The New England Patriots Are Indeed Super Bowl XLVIII Contenders

Patriots - Super Bowl Contenders

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

If the New England Patriots decimate the Carolina Panthers, the team should be considered a serious Super Bowl contender. The Panthers have one of the NFL‘s best defenses, and if Tom Brady comes out on Monday Night Football slinging it like he did against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the rest of the NFL is in serious trouble.

It’s not like the league forgot that the Patriots are still a really good team. It is quite the opposite, really. It’s the fact that New England has not appealed to the fan’s eye test. It hasn’t been pretty, but it has won games for the majority of the season. Let’s not forget, as much as we want to anoint great offenses for being the determining factor in winning recent Super Bowls. It is simply just not the case.

The Patriots of the early 2000′s won with stout defense, and the New York Giants defeated New England twice because of defensive pass rush. Last year’s Super Bowl had two defensive teams representing both conferences. Yes, the NFL is an offensive minded game, but the fact of winning championships hasn’t strayed far from the game’s history, which means a lot.

Besides the rambling history lesson, the 2013 Patriots have a good defense. The team has stayed afloat because of it, and if New England can get a continuous offensive spark going, watch out.

The Patriots are Super Bowl contenders, like it or not. I’ve been watching this team grow into that for weeks. If you can’t see that something special is going on in Foxborough, you shouldn’t consider yourself a knowledgeable person of the game.