New England Patriots 2012 NFL Team Preview
The Patriots came within 4 points of winning the Super Bowl last season and all indicators showed that they improved in the offseason and should be even stronger this year. They had one of the most fearsome offenses in the NFL despite not having a legit #1 receiver. So what does Bill Belichick do for a solution? He hires Josh McDaniels as his new offensive coordinator, which turns out to be crucial in luring Brandon Lloyd over from St. Louis to join his former coach. Lloyd gave up some money by coming to the Patriots but he knows the value of playing with Brady and working with McDaniels again. America’s Bookie has the total for number of games the Patriots will win this season at 12.
In addition to Lloyd, Brady will still have Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez as targets and they are only going to make him more dangerous this season. Gronkowski is a phenomenon and nobody in the league really knows how to cover him. Welker is trying to get a lot of money out of New England, but with this loaded squad he might find he doesn’t have as much bargaining power. They also picked up Jabar Gaffney and Donte’ Stallworth in the offseason so this unit is about as deep as deep gets. They’ve got to hope if anybody has to go down this year it is anyone other than Brady. They are a little shaky at running back and have a question on the line, but the offense will be just fine.
The defense was quite the opposite of the offense last season. Quite frankly they were terrible. It probably says even more about the offense as you rarely have a team with such a bad defense come so close to winning it all. They lost Andre Carter and Mark Anderson in free agency so Belichick went out and drafted a couple of pass rushers in early rounds. The Pats took Chandler Jones from Syracuse in the first round and Jake Bequette from Arkansas in the third. Not a short term solution because these two aren’t seen as ready to come in and be big contributors in the beginning. They also took Dont’a Hightower in the first round and expect him to step into the starting role at strongside linebacker. He will join Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes so the linebacking corps will be ok.
Their schedule doesn’t look overly difficult although they have an away game in Baltimore in week 3 and will play San Francisco at home in week 15. Buffalo might put up a bit of a fight but otherwise they should have no problem within their division. 12 is a big number but this is New England and I can easily see them matching last year’s 13-3 record if not doing better. I’m going with over 12 wins for the Patriots. We will have all the Scores and Odds for you right here this season.
Patriots Regular-Season Schedule*
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9, @ Tennessee, 1:00 PM
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16, vs Arizona, 1:00 PM
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, @ Baltimore, 8:20 PM
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30, @ Buffalo, 1:00 PM
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, vs Denver, 4:25 PM
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14, @ Seattle, 4:05 PM
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 28, vs NY Jets, 4:25 PM
Week 8: Thursday, Nov. 1, @ St. Louis, 1:00 PM
Week 9: Bye
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12, vs Buffalo, 1:00 PM
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18, vs Indianapolis, 1:00 PM
Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 25, @ NY Jets, 8:20 PM
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, @ Miami, 1:00 PM
Week 14: Monday, Dec. 9, vs Houston, 8:30 PM
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, vs San Francisco, 8:20 PM
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23, @ Jacksonville, 1:00 PM
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, vs Miami, 4:15 PM
*All games are listed for Eastern Time.
- San Francisco, Houston awarded Super Bowls
- NFL approves $200 million loan for Falcons’ new stadium
- Extra Points: No lazy days for veterans on the bubble
- Romo to miss workouts after back surgery
- Report: Pats TE Gronkowski has fourth arm surgery
- Former Dolphins WR Chad Johnson spends time in jail
- Freeney headed to San Diego
- Report: Pats TE Gronkowski to have fourth arm surgery
- Raiders sign P Kluwe
- Seahawks DE Irvin suspended four games