By Justin Patrick @calling_allfans on August 1, 2014
Right now every NFL team is in the middle of training camp, and that includes the New England Patriots. Barring unforeseen injuries, there are some certainties, like Tom Brady starting at QB, but certain position battles and how the season will play out is far from decided. Here are five bold predictions for the Patriots in 2014.
So far Gronkowski has either played hurt during the playoffs or missed the postseason entirely due to injury. There’s no physical proof to decidedly say Gronkowski will be healthy for the playoffs and he’s coming off a season-ending injury (torn ACL), but based on the law of averages, he has to be healthy for a postseason sooner or later.
The Patriots selected White in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, both entering the final year of their contracts, will probably get the bulk of the carries at running back, but don’t forget about White. So far he has shown versatility as a rusher and a receiver, which could help him earn a decent amount playing time this season.
Jones, a first-round selection in 2012, had six sacks in his rookie season and 11.5 in 2013. Why will he make another leap in 2014? Jones played 98 percent of the defensive snaps in 2013, but he won’t be asked to do as much in 2014. He will be fresher when it’s time to pin his ears back and go after opposing QBs. The secondary will also be improved this year, making QBs hold onto the football longer which could translate into more sacks.
Collins, who is 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, played in all 16 games for the Patriots in 2013 (started eight). Brandon Spikes is now with the Buffalo Bills, so either Don’t’a Hightower or Jerod Mayo will take over at middle LB. There’s a great chance Collins solidifies his spot at one of the outside LB positions. He will see a lot of playing time due to a lack of depth at LB, and he is one of the most athletic and versatile players on the defense.
Brady has won two MVPs in his career — 2007 and 2010 (first unanimous choice since AP began using a nationwide panel of media members). In 2013, Brady threw for 4,343 yards with 25 TDs and 11 interceptions. He took the Patriots to the AFC Championship game despite not having a true No. 1 WR and the Patriots being hit with a litany of injuries. In 2014, Brady will show that he's the most valuable player in the NFL and the voting will reflect that.
April 19, 2015 by Doug Green
The Philadelphia Eagles need to draft a cornerback in the upcoming draft. See why P.J. Williams would be an excellent addition. Read More
April 19, 2015 by Calvin Cress
Depending on how the first few picks play out, the Oakland Raiders could turn their attention to Vic Beasley in the first round. Read More
April 19, 2015 by Connor Fulton
See why Jeremy Langford offers the most value for the Patriots out of all the running backs in the 2015 NFL Draft. Read More
April 19, 2015 by Brian Kalchik
These five former sixth-round picks were the worst in Houston Texans history. Read More
These five former seventh-round picks were the worst in Houston Texans history. Read More
April 19, 2015 by Chris Ross
It's very easy for NFL teams to overspend on players through free agency. These 15 players all got paid much more than their value in free agency. Read More
April 19, 2015 by Brad Berreman
Garret Grayson is in the mix to be the third quarterback drafted this year. Here's my look at the Colorado State product. Read More
April 19, 2015 by Kyle Engman
The NFL Draft is only two weeks away. Find out who the Packers ought to select. Read More