New England Patriots Record Prediction & Game-By-Game Breakdown 2021-22
The new additions for the Patriots are glaring. Losing Tom Brady last season was enough to transform a team, and the COVID opt-outs did not help at all.
Let me list off the new additions of the Patriots for you to understand how different this roster will look in comparison to last season. Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Matthew Judon, Christian Barmore, Davon Godchaux, Jalen Mills, Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Brown & even Mac Jones is you consider him a potential start. The only impact makers they lost are Marcus Cannon and Joey Thuney.
The Patriots are notorious for not spending a lot in free agency, but this season was an exception. To me it seems that Bill Belichick knows he doesn’t want to coach forever, and he went all-in to win this season and these additions reflect that thinking.
If they get the same Cam Newton from week 6 onwards last season, it’s going to be tough to make the playoffs. He couldn’t find any rhythm and struggled to connect on anything within 15 yards. If we get they get the same Cam Newton from week 1-3, I think they get it done. While they added Mac Jones in the first round this season, I think Cam Newton will be the guy this season. Jones doesn’t move the needle enough for me to consider him starting over Newton, but his presence should bring out the best competition possible.
Cam Newton’s best weapon for most of last season was ex-Quarterback Jakobi Meyers (Julian Edelman got injured early). Adding both Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne out wide should help a lot. Not that these are elite weapons to have, but they are certainly better than who was out wide last season.
The biggest additions on offense were Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Remember the days of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez? This is the closest thing since. These are both very capable pass catchers, but most importantly good blockers who will help set the tone for the expected heavy rushing attack for the Patriots.
Damien Harris at Running Back averaged 5.0 yards per carry last season and looks to build off that. He struggled to stay healthy, but this backfield is extremely crowded to prepare for that including Sony Michel, James White and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson.
The most promising unit on this offense is up front. The Patriots offensive line is absolutely stacked. With two Tight End sets and an offensive line that is top 5 in the NFL, expect this rushing attack to out-physical a lot of teams to win games.
A lot of the blame last season was pointed at Cam Newton, but the fall of this defense was a massive issue. That issue looks to have been solved.
The list of additions goes on and on leading me to believe this is a potential top 5 unit in the NFL. Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy are back, but my favorite addition is Matthew Judon who will provide some much needed pass rush.
The secondary for the Patriots was by far their strong point, but even that improved with the addition of Jalen Mills at safety.
I can’t bet against a Bill Belichick schemed defense which is especially true when you look at the talent filled roster. I fully believe that this unit will once again be regarded as one of the best defenses in the NFL.
Last season was a disaster for this team. They won some tough games, but played down to a lot of their competition.
As I mentioned in the intro, I feel like the end is near for Bill Belichick. He has already proved his worth as the best coach in NFL history, but he has also yet to prove he can win without Tom Brady. The laundry list of additions leads me to believe that Bill Belichick wants to win now. He is no longer looking 5 years into the future in terms of roster moves. Bill Belichick made all the right moves this off-season to turn this roster back into a playoff team. While I don’t believe they will overcome the stacked Bills roster atop this division, I do believe they will sneak into the playoffs as a Wild Card team.
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