The New England Patriots are suffering from some big name injuries, with some of Tom Brady’s favourite offensive weapons being ruled out at present.
Rob Gronkowski, who is possibly the best tight end of all time, injured his knee in the 24-30 loss to the Denver Broncos; and star wide receive, Julian Edelman suffered a fractured metatarsal against the Giants in Week 10, but could return for the postseason.
Dion Lewis came into the season as the Patriots’ starting running back whilst also playing a key receiving role too. Lewis totalled 622 yards from scrimmage in just eight games. He then tore his anterior cruciate ligament which ended his season.
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Then there are; Dominique Easley, Danny Amendola, Patrick Chung, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Michael Williams, Alan Branch, Marcus Cannon and Chandler Jones who are all dealing with injuries, according to theOfficial Patriots website.
Despite the injury setbacks, the Patriots will always have a great shot at glory, provided that quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are at the helm.
The last time that a team won back-to-back Super Bowl’s was in 2004 and 2005, by the New England Patriots. In Super Bowl 38 the Pats beat the Carolina Panthers and in 39 they beat the Philadelphia Eagles.
There’s a chance that, this season, their hopes of securing another double will mean that they encounter the Carolina Panthers once again.
Led by “SuperCam” Newton, the Panthers are the only remaining undefeated side in the NFL.
During this win streak, they have overcome potential playoff opponents in the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins.
The big worry for the Patriots is if they will likely have to meet the Broncos during the playoffs. Not only did they lose to them last week, but in the four times that the teams have met in the post season, Denver have taken three wins.
Can Brady make it five?
New England have progressed through the regular season playing as though they’re not only the current champions, but are also future champions.
Their loss had to come eventually, and despite it coming against their AFC rivals, they’re still favourites to win this year’s Super Bowl.
They had to lose at some point, the only team that’s ever actually achieved a perfect season were the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and could definitely add a fifth Super Bowl ring to his collection. Not only is he incredibly talented, but he’s also surrounded by great players.
New England have a pretty solid defence, highlighted by the likes of Chandler Jones, Don’t’a Hightower, Devin McCourty and Super Bowl winning play maker Malcolm Butler.
Then their offence, though hampered by injury, is still a top unit. Gronk is being evaluated on a week-to-week basis but is expected to return in time for the playoffs, if not before.
Then Scott Chandler, Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell and Brandon Bolden are all viable targets for Brady’s passing game. Or they also have the option to grind their way down the field, with the help of monster rusher LeGarrette Blount.
The biggest problem that the Pats could be faced with is another match up against Denver. Luckily for New England, they have one of the best head coaches in NFL history.
Coach Bill Belichick is well known for pulling out some of his “Beli-Tricks” in big games, and I’m sure that if the Patriots were to face the Broncos in the postseason, Belichick would have a few tricks to overcome the troubles his team faced in their Week 12 loss.
New England remain favorites to win Super Bowl 50 and with good reason. They are still the strongest team in the NFL. Sure Carolina are undefeated but if the two were to meet in the final then my money would be on the Patriots, provided they didn’t suffer anymore big name injuries, and had Gronk back.