5 Reasons Why the New England Patriots Will Win Super Bowl XLVIII
5 Reasons Why New England Patriots Will Win Super Bowl
You can never count these guys out. After many departures this offseason and having to battle through injuries all year long, the New England Patriots still sit atop the AFC East with a 7-3 record and are in prime position to cruise in to the playoffs.
The Monday Night Football debacle from this past week was a tough one to shallow for New England. That being said, they played more than well enough to win the game and their performance did not affect my view on them one bit. The Carolina Panthers are a great team. It was a wonderful game between two great teams, and both played very well. Carolina came out on top; it happens.
This week, New England takes on the Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning and the 9-1 Broncos will be a tough test for the Pats, but things are coming together nicely for New England right now and the game is in Foxboro. I am picking the Patriots in this one.
After this week against Denver, the rest of the season sets up very nicely for New England. The other teams remaining on the schedule for the Patriots are the 2-8 Houston Texans, 4-6 Cleveland Browns, 5-5 Miami Dolphins, 4-6 Baltimore Ravens and 4-7 Buffalo Bills. I think it is safe to say that the Patriots will be the favorites in each of those games and will be serious contenders for a first round bye in the playoffs.
Right now both Denver and the Kansas City Chiefs are 9-1, but they both play in the AFC West. In order to get a first round bye you must win your division. Unfortunately for Denver and Kansas City, two teams cannot win that division. The Patriots and Indianapolis Colts are both 7-3 and would be next in line for the No. 2 seed. With the way New England has come together and the nice remaining schedule, I like their chances to get that first round bye.
In the Bill Belichick era, the Patriots have reached the Super Bowl four out of the six years that they received a first round bye in the playoffs. With Tom Brady under center and Belichick as the head coach, you have to like their chances come playoff time.
This team has been through a lot this season, and I believe they are serious Super Bowl contenders. In fact, they are my favorites to win it all. There is a long ways to go and a lot can happen between now and February, but here are 5 reasons why the New England Patriots will win Super Bowl XLVII.
5. Offensive Weapons are Finally Healthy
After losing Wes Welker to free agency and Aaron Hernandez to prison this offseason, it was very unclear at the beginning of the year who would step up in their absence. After struggling through the early weeks of the season, Brady finally has a nice stock of weapons to throw the ball to.
Danny Amendola struggled with a groin injury early in the year, Rob Gronkowski missed the first six games of the season and Shane Vereen broke his wrist in Week 1 but finally returned last week against Carolina. All of these players now appear to be very healthy. Couple that with the emergence of rookie receiver Aaron Dobson and Brady suddenly has nice weapons to get the ball to.
4. Peyton Manning's Playoff Woes
Most people would say that Manning and the Broncos are the favorite to take the Lombardi trophy this season. It is hard to argue that, and you could make a case that this Denver offense is the greatest offensive team of all time. They have been rolling on all cylinders all season long, and if anybody is going to take them down they are going to have to play a great game. Denver's defense is suspect at best and that might hold them back, but the one thing that makes me question the Broncos the most is Manning.
I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. Manning is one of the greatest regular season quarterbacks of all-time. His first ballot Hall of Fame stats speak for themselves. That being said, there is one thing that will hold him back from becoming the single greatest of all-time and that is his playoff struggles.
For whatever reason, Manning has historically struggled in the playoffs. Sure, he did have that Super Bowl victory in 2006. There is no taking that from him, but that was really the only time that Manning has performed to his abilities in the playoffs. His career playoff record is 9-11, including eight one-and-done postseason trips. By comparison, Brady's playoff record is 17-7.
I cannot explain why Manning struggles in the playoffs, but after it happens over and over again I stop fighting it. Manning led teams struggle in the playoffs, plain and simple, and the Denver going down in the postseason would open the door for New England.
3. Aqib Talib is Going to be Healthier
Aqib Talib was in the spotlight Monday night for the wrong reasons. He was constantly in the face of Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith, he would not let go of Smith's leg when one play was over and there was some pushing and shoving going on. Make no mistake, Talib was the instigator of all this.
His attitude can get the best of him at times, but there is no denying Talib's ability on the field. He is a big and physical corner that can shut down anybody in the league on any given day. He is a huge part of this New England defense.
The injuries have not only affected the offensive side of the ball for New England; the defense has seen plenty of them as well. Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo being out for the season hurts this team in more ways than can be explained. Also, solid starting players like Steve Gregory and Alfonzo Dennard are missing a lot of time with injuries.
Talib returned from a hip injury last week, but he was not 100 percent. With all of the injuries the Patriots have suffered on defense they need Talib to be healthy in a bad way. The injury does not seem to be super serious, and I think he will be much healthier down the stretch which will be massive for this defense.
2. Bill Belichick
Simply put, Belichick is one of the greatest NFL coaches of all-time. He has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and has appeared in five. His no-nonsense demeanor is constantly mocked, but it is obviously effective. He is an incredible coach and plays a big part in my confidence of selecting the Patriots as the Super Bowl favorites.
1. Tom Brady
What more could I possibly say about Tom Brady that has not already been said? This guy is an assassin on the field, and he raises his game to another level late in the game and late in the season.
Brady had his struggles earlier this season, but that appears to be behind him and I have 100 percent confidence in him going forward. Late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line there is nobody else in NFL history who I would rather have under center.
New England always has a chance with Brady on the field. He is a major reason why I think that the Patriots will be the ones hoisting the trophy in East Rutherford, New Jersey on the night of February 2.