Tom Brady won the first year in the separation between him and the New England Patriots. While Bill Belichick struggled to find answers at the quarterback position, Brady won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Patriots addressed their QB situation through the NFL Draft, and it will be interesting to see how they perform after a 7-9 season in which they missed the playoffs.
The New England Patriots were incredibly active during the free agency period and were given a gift this spring as they did not need to trade up to grab former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones in the first round. New England re-signed Cam Newton, who looked like a shell of himself in 2020 in his first year with the Patriots. There is expected to be a quarterback competition between the two heading into training camp, so this is one to keep an eye on.
New England Patriots Super Bowl 56 odds: +3300
New England transitioned into one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL last season. They ran the ball on 51.3% of plays, which was the second highest in the sport behind the Baltimore Ravens. One of Bill Belichick’s biggest strengths as a football coach is making adjustments, and it will be interesting to see what this offense looks like in 2021. The passing game should improve as they ranked No. 22 in yards per pass attempt last season. If whoever gets the start Week 1 struggles early in the season, the Patriots have a backup option at the quarterback position.
Defensively, New England was not all that impressive last season as the Patriots ranked 22nd in opponent yards per play. The team went heavy in free agent signings this offseason and addressed some concerns on the defense. They brought in linebackers Matt Judon and Kyle Van Noy, safety Jalen Mills and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux this offseason, and the Patriots should be much better on that side of the ball.
The Patriots have better odds to win the Super Bowl than more than half of the NFL teams. New England should always have a high floor under Belichick as they are coming off their first losing season since the 2000 season, which is a remarkable stat. The Patriots are expected to flirt around 10 wins this season after a full offseason of trying to upgrade the roster. Still, it’s difficult to know what to expect from the Patriots. Newton showed his limitations last season, and rookie quarterbacks are always a bit of a wild card in Year 1.
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