Ever since the Patriots lost arguably the greatest Super Bowl ever to the New York Giants 17 to 14 in 2008 after their remarkable undefeated regular season run, sports bettors have wondered if the Patriots are still worth betting on. The Patriots, who are led by head coach and master strategist Bill Belichick and superstar Quarterback Tom Brady, have been the most successful franchise of the last ten years by winning three Super Bowls. Now that Brady finally has someone good to throw to when the Patriots acquired Randy Moss, there is still some uncertainty as to how good the Patriots still are and what their NFL spreads record will look like in the 2010 season.
Even though the Patriots finished in first place with a 10-6 regular season record, this seems like underachievement for a team that talented. Could it be that their defense is not as powerful as it used to be? Is Bellichick running out of those timely crafted precision plays that used to bail out Tom Brady in the final drive of the game? Now with the regular season about to kickoff, we have talks about Brady’s contract extension lurking around. The Patriots are a young team with many distractions and they are always expected to perform at an extremely high level.
The Patriots are close to having enough all around talent to win their fourth Super Bowl. The combination of Tom Brady and Randy Moss’ deep air attack is a serious threat any week, but other player will have to step up to make their offense multidimensional. They will have to have a consistent running game. They are known for having one of the best offensive lines ever made that has protected Brady in the past, and they will have to continue to excel for them to make the big game.
The Patriots are expecting a lot from their newly signed rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes. The biggest question now concerning the Patriots is whether or not their defense can hold up. It is no secret to anyone that the Patriots defensive struggles might be their Achilles heel, and the reason why they lost in the playoffs last year. Their defense does not have any superstar players and is very much unproven. Young cornerback Darius Butler and Leigh Bodden on the other side are both going to need a much more impressive season this year than last year.
Without the big name heavyweights on defense like Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi back there to scare the hell out of everyone, the New England Patriots seem like they are a team that is overall slightly above average. They will probably still make it to the play offs and win an impressive amount of games, but it is difficult to say that this years team will make it to a Super Bowl. If they do catch on fire and win thirteen or fourteen, it would be the result of a great deal of help from their still unknown supporting cast. With Bellichick calling the plays, and Tom Brady being able to skillfully loft the pigskin seventy yards deep to Moss in the end zone with ease, the Patriots are still a good team to bet on and the team to beat to gain respect in this modern era of pro football.
Prediction from the Maddux Sports’ NFL handicappers: The New England Patriots will finish with a 10-6 record and make the playoffs. We see them exiting the playoffs in the conference championship against the Colts.