With the NFL season approaching, let’s look at the reasons as to why the New England Patriots can repeat as Superbowl champions.
The Signing of Stephon Gilmore
Since free agency began, Stephon Gilmore quickly became a target for several teams in terms of Cornerbacks, but what the Patriots did is what surprised me. As soon as free agency began they quickly picked up Gilmore and signed him to a 5yr/ $65 million-dollar contract with $31 million in guaranteed money per spoctrac.com. In the five years with the Buffalo Bills, he accumulated 226 combined tackles, 198 total tackles, 28 assisted tackles, 62 passes defended, 14 Interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. Injuries may be a concern but I do believe that he is good to go for a fantastic season.
The Defense May Be the Best in The League
Stephon Gilmore, Malcom Butler, Dant’e Hightower, and Devin McCourty are just a few pieces to a stacked defense. They don’t have any holes on the defensive side of the ball, but the only worry is the Free Safety/Strong Safety position, but even that will not be a weakness. If they are healthy for the season, there is no doubt that they may be a better defensive unit than what the team had back in 2007. Also, according to NFL.com, ex-Jets LB David Harris agreed to a 2 year contract with a base salary of $5 million with $1.25 million in guaranteed money. He also will earn up to $6.75 million with incentives.
The Offense Just Got Scarier
With the return of Rob Gronkowski from injury and the arrivals of Brandin Cooks and Dwayne Allen, along with Julian Edelman who took a 2yr/$11 million-dollar extension, the Patriots are looking great at WR. Danny Amendola who took his third straight pay cut, Malcolm Mitchell entering his 2nd year in the league and Chris Hogan also bolster the WR position for the Pats. And with Tom Brady, who enters his 18th season under center with no signs of slowing down, this Pats offense may be the best unit and may even break the scoring record the Denver Broncos had in 2013 with 606 points.
The Running Back position may be as stacked as they’ve been in years with Dion Lewis, and the arrival of Rex Burkhead and Mike Gillislee, James White, Brandon Bolden, D.J. Foster, and LeShun Daniels (Undrafted). With those seven running backs on the roster, the Patriots has spent $11.5 million to the position per spoctrac.com compared to just $4.08 million-dollars from the year before. Another thing to note is that, per musketfire.com, the Patriots finished 7th in the NFL with 1,872 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016 compared to 30th in the year before.
It’s little to wonder why many experts picked the Patriots to repeat. The Patriots has an opportunity to match or even break team records both on offense. And another thing, the last team to repeat SuperBowls are the ’03 and ’04 Patriots. Do I believe the Patriots have a shot at going undefeated? Yes, as far as injuries doesn’t pile up. They have everything going for them that their hopes of winning their sixth Lombardi and their world is at the palm of their hands.