How strong are the New England Patriots? Offensively and defensively strong! After finishing last season four points shy of another Super Bowl appearance, they are not about to stop improving their team of veteran stars and young talent.
Adding talent to an already talented team, they are poised to put nothing but strong on the field this year and take on the entire NFL.
On the offensive side of the ball they have Tom Brady and what looks like the makings of one the best receiving corps in the NFL. Donte Stallworth, Wes Walker, Ben Watson and Randy Moss are sure to provide Brady with plenty of targets this season.
Randy Moss, once considered the best receiver in the NFL, is poised to return and add plenty of fire power to the Patriot offense. Moss is on a team that could give him a Super Bowl crown, the motivation is there and if he is healthy, look out.
The Patriot rushing attack will be led by Laurence Maroney this season. The rookie gained 939 total offensive yards last year scoring seven times, six rushing and one receiving.
This was done in the committee mode. With Corey Dillon now retired , Maroney will now be the featured back with help from Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris and FB Heath Evans, running game is strong.
Statistics on the defensive side of the ball tell a great story. Last season the defense held opponents to 94.2 rushing yards, (5th in the NFL) and registered 44 sacks also 5th in the NFL.
The defense also held opposing quarterbacks to an average QB rating of 66.1, 2nd in the NFL and only allowed 10 passing touchdowns, 1st in the NFL.
Names on the defensive side of the ball also tell a great story. Add the name Adalius Thomas to the old names of Bruski,Varbel and Colvin, now you are talking a strong linebacker unit.
The defensive line also well equipped with potential Pro-Bowlers Warren, Seymore and Wilfork. If there's concern on the defensive side of the ball, it is the defensive backfield. Even though they did very well last season, much of what they did was with unknown talent.
If all is well with contracts ,this year they could actually be better this season. The names to watch include Hobbs,Wilson, Harrison, Meriweather and of course Asante Samuel.
I'm predicting AFC champs and quite possibly a return to the Super Bowl in '08. A wager on them winning the AFC and the Super Bowl is my sports bet of the day.
Betting them on a regular basis during the season is not out of question either. Last year the Patriots went 12-4 during the regular season finishing 9-7 against the spread at 56%.
This season my expectations for the Patriots will be higher and with more offense, a team to definitely look at when it comes time to bet this football season.