2014 NFL Playoffs: 5 Reasons Why New England Patriots Will Win Super Bowl
2014 NFL Playoff: 5 Reasons Why New England Patriots Will Win the Super Bowl
The 2014 NFL Playoffs will begin this weekend, and there is no clear-cut favorite in the AFC as of now. Just when you think the New England Patriots has had too many injuries to compete or not enough talented wide receivers, everyone else suffers injuries, and the team you forgot about comes back to bite you in the rear.
New England has been put down all season long. Tom Brady isn't as good as he once was, the offense has no playmakers, the defense sucks -- these are cries fans have heard, but look at them now. New England has a no. 2 seed and has just as good of a chance to win it all as any team in the league. New England suffered injuries this season like most teams, but they have a healthy offensive line and a healthy stable of running backs. Oh, and they have Tom Brady -- what else do they need?
This isn't the first rodeo for New England in the playoffs. Brady and Bill Belichick are the winningest quarterback-coach combo of all time. Together, they are 17-7 in the playoffs and have gone to five Super Bowls. It's safe to say they know what they are doing. Most people crumble under the pressure and spotlights, but not these two. They relish the pressure, they love the doubt and they love proving people wrong. That is exactly what they will do this season.
The Super Bowl is being held in New York this year, and with forecasts already projecting snow, there isn't a better team in the snow than New England. All the Patriots have to do is get there, and the Super Bowl is theirs. As of right now, the Patriots are +850 to win the Super Bowl (the fourth-best odds) and after you get done reading all these reasons why they are going to win the Super Bowl, you will understand why.
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5. New England Can Play in Any Weather
New England has a first-round bye, a home game, and then either another home game or a road game to face the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning, the quarterback New England knows the most about and has beaten more times than not. The Patriots have one of the best home-field advantages in the league, so getting to the AFC Championship game isn't even a worry. Even if they have to go to Denver, the Patriots will already be accustomed to the cold and windy weather. There is no weather condition that New England has not seen and has not won in before.
4. Short-Yardage Passing Game
The biggest knock on the Patriots is that they do not have a big downfield threat, and to that I say: so what? Why does New England have to have a deep-threat? Randy Moss, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Lloyd and Rob Gronkowski are the only deep-threats Brady has ever had, and he only played one full season with Moss, one season with Lloyd, a little over two seasons with Hernandez, and a total of three seasons with Gronkowski when you add up all of his injuries. With so few options as so-called deep-threats, the Patriots still win games -- how is it possible? They throw short, block well and turn short plays into long plays. With Shane Vereen out of the backfield alongside Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola running pick plays for each other all game long, there is no need for throwing deep. The best part about this is that teams don't expect New England to throw deep without a deep threat, so it makes it easier for the Pats to sneak one of their small receivers downfield. When you have the accuracy of Tom Brady, a good offensive line and shifty receivers, you don't really need to throw downfield and risk interceptions. Not having a big-play guy will not hurt the Patriots at all.
3. The Running Game
New England has never been known as a running team, but they have finished in the top-13 in rushing in eight of the past 10 seasons. In five of those seasons, they were in the top-10. The Patriots still run the ball, and are very good at doing so. This season, they were top-10 in yards, yards per carry and rushing touchdowns. When teams have to prepare for Tom Brady and what he will be doing, they sometimes forget that the Patriots have a good running game as well. New England had four running backs go over 200 yards this season: Stevan Ridley (773), LaGarrette Blount (772), Brandon Bolden (271) and Shane Vereen (208) -- and they will all be healthy for the playoffs.
2. Tom Brady
When you find yourselves in the playoffs and Tom Brady is your quarterback, that will reduce any anxiety you might have. Brady has been a quarterbacking god in the playoffs throughout his career. He never gets flustered if he team is down, he never tries to force throws, and he can always find a way to win. There isn't another big-game quarterback in the NFL that you would rather have than him. Brady has 17 postseason wins and only seven losses, but he is only 1-2 in his last three games, so I'd say he is due for another long postseason run.
1. Bill Belichick
A coach's no. 1 priority is to give his player's the best opportunity to win on Sundays, and there is none better at that than Bill Belichick. He is the perfect mixture of old-school, in-your-face, disciplinarian and new-age, statistical-driven football. Belichick knows all the numbers, so when most people think he is gambling, he is really playing the correct odds. He is definitely unconventional and looks like an overgrown hobbit on the sidelines, but the man is a genius when it comes to coaching football.