Last year, Brady won his sixth Superbowl, while throwing for 4,000+ yards for the seventh time in eight years. Since his monster season in 2007, Brady has proven to be among the leagues most elite and most efficient quarterbacks of all time. Brady might have a slight dropoff next year, but it is unlikely that he will completely regress next season.
The Patriots lack an elite rusher, but they have a bevy of quality running backs who are talented in different aspects. However, their two projected bell cows, Damien Harris, and Sony Michel lack the blocking skills necessary to be effective pass protectors.
Protection & Blocking
The offensive line was exceptional when it came to pass protection and run blocking last year. With Isaiah Wynn returning to New England in 2019, this offensive line looks to be even more improved next year.
Julian Edelman is the only WR on the patriots, who had a productive NFL season last year. N'Keal Harry is a promising rookie WR, but most 1st round rookie WR have a rough transition to the NFL, and nothing is guaranteed with him. Demaryius Thomas has had a productive career but suffered an Achilles injury last year. The rest of the lineup is a bunch of guys who have shown bursts of talent but have never had a consistent season in the NFL.
Skills Analysis Notes
The Patriots have average speed at WR and RB, but Tom Brady is far from a track star. Brady and the offensive line carry this department when it comes to production, but the Patriots lack proven production at WR, or a star RB. Brady is a threat for a big throw, and N'Keal Harry could haul in some impressive catches, but the rest of the roster lacks big-play capability. The OL, Edelman, and Brady are all consistent, but Sony Michel had a somewhat inconsistent rookie year, and the rest of the offensive lineup is very inconsistent.
Lawerence Guy, Michael Bennett, Mike Pennel, and John Simon will be a pretty effective defensive line unit that will be pretty successful at stopping the run. However, this unit will probably struggle when it comes to rushing the passer.
Kyle Van Noy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Dont’a Hightower, and Jamie Collins are a decent linebacking unit, but won't be consistently dominating at stopping the run or accumulating sacks.
The Patriots secondary is the strength of their defensive unit. Cornerback Stephon Gillmore emerged as one of the best, if not the best, CB in the NFL last season, and Jason McCourty proved to be a phenomenal no. 2 CB. J.C. Jackson also solidified himself as a great slot CB, and Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung were a great safety duo last season.
Controlling Field Position
Skills Analysis Notes
The Patriots defense was excellent in coverage and creating turnovers last season. Due to Bill Belichick's system and coaching, his team showed discipline when it mattered most and controlled field position while also mitigating big plays and making it difficult for opponents to move the chains. The Belichick/Flores defensive scheme emphasizes fit and completing your responsibility, and the team will look to continue this trend into the 2019 season. However, this team will struggle when it comes to rushing the passer next season.
Special Teams and Coaching
Overall Unit Analysis
Stephen Gostowski is a good FG kicker, but he has shown regression over the past 3 years. In addition, the Patriots will look for Julian Edelman to continue to be a decent punt returner and look for Sony Michel be a good return man.
Overall Coaching / School Analysis
Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL due to his attention to detail, team-fit, and scheme. His constant studying of the game, along with his methods for developing players and keeping them prepared for games is exceptional and helps him stay ahead of the competition. This season, Belichick will take back control of defensive play-calling, and will likely focus on stopping the run and improving the pass rush. On the offensive side of the field coordinator, Josh McDaniels will look to mitigate the regression of Tom Brady's arm strength, while maximizing the big play-capability of N'Keal Harry.
The Patriots are balanced on both the offensive and defensive sides of the field. While their WR and LB corp are far from daunting, their defensive and offensive lines are menacing in the trenches, and Tom Brady is still an efficient quarterback who will pick secondaries apart due to his stellar vision and decision making. Speaking of secondaries, Stephon Gillmore and the McCourty twins will terrorize opposing QBs next year and undrafted phenom, J.C. Jackson looks to continue to be productive in the Bill Belichick/Greg Schiano defense next year.
Last season, did the team
meet your expectations?
Outperformed my Expectations
The Patriots are a team that has continuously dominated the AFC East since the beginning of the 21st century. In fact, the Patriots have only failed to win the AFC championship in 3 of the last 18 years, and look destined to win the division again in 2019. While both the Jets and Bills have improved their teams compared to 2018, neither of those teams will be able to compete with the Patriots for control of the division. Moreover, the Miami Dolphins would be lucky even to garner a close game against the Patriots next season (barring another Miami Miracle). The Patriots will likely struggle more than usual against non-division teams like the Browns, Eagles, Texans, and Chiefs next year, but they will still make it into the playoffs due to their weak conference schedule.