New England Patriots Built To Play In Cold-Weather Games
NFL teams are built certain ways, and the New England Patriots are no different. If one takes a look at the players that Bill Belichick has chosen to play on his team, he or she can deduce that Belichick clearly built this team to succeed in cold weather.
It all starts with the quarterback. Tom Brady throws one of the tightest spirals in the game, making him one of the best quarterbacks for this situation. The regular-season game against the Denver Broncos should be proof that Brady can throw in the coldest and windiest of games.
Then we move on to the running game. LaGarrette Blount is a big, physical running back who loves to take contact. He is perfect for a cold-weather football game. His physicality will be just what the doctor ordered. In fact, the Patriots have lacked such a player in past playoff runs.
Even the offensive linemen should be able to get in on the fun. Left tackle Nate Solder and left guard Logan Mankins are known for their physical run blocking. Right tackle Marcus Cannon has not seen much action in the playoffs before, but you can bet that he will be an asset for this time of year.
Rob Gronkowski may be out, but that does not mean the tight ends are unfit for this weather. Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan are perfect for a cold day. Both guys are blocking tight ends which means that they are just itching for contact.
As for the defensive linemen, they possess size and physicality. Chandler Jones is one of the bigger defensive ends in the game, and Rob Ninkovich plays much bigger than his size. Belichick’s original plan was to have Tommy Kelly and Vince Wilfork as his primary defensive tackles, and both stand at least 6-foot-2, 310 pounds. Injuries have killed the position, but Belichick deserves credit for that nonetheless.
Last but not least, the linebackers are probably the most custom-made cold-weather players on this team. Brandon Spikes and Dont’a Hightower are essentially the same type of player: big, physical run stoppers. They might be burned in coverage a lot, but those guys love to step up and make a big tackle.
So at least Belichick will have the personnel to play in playoff games. This postseason is a great time for him to have it too as the only three possible locations the Patriots can play are in New England, Denver and New York. Having these type of players should help Belichick compete this postseason.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.