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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: New England Patriots Preview 2004

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posted on Sep, 12 2004 @ 03:58 PM
What else is there to say about the New England Patriots that hasn't already been said? They've won the Super Bowl two of the past three years, including last year's thriller over the Carolina Panthers, and with a big-name acquisition this off-season, they're definitely hungry for more. Corey Dillon, the once-lone superstar of a once-crummy Cincinnati Bengals team, saw his health and stats diminish as the team improved last season. The solution? Ask for a trade, and ultimately, end up with the defending World Champions.

This second-chance comes well-deserved, however. Before the 2003 season, Dillon had attained six straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons to begin his career, and should definitely improve New England's 27th-ranked rushing attack. As for the defense, why fix something that ain't broke? The Pats' 7th ranked D' submitted only 14.9 PTS/G, a stat that ranked first in the NFL. With an already championship-caliber team, highlighted by various superstars such as QB Tom Brady, K Adam Vinatieri, and one of the top defenses in all of football, there's no reason why the Pats shouldn't go far once again.



Star Power: Tom Brady, QB, 5th , 6-4 225; Troy Brown, WR, 12th, 5-10 196; Ty Law, DB, 10th, 5-11 200; Adam Vinatieri, PK, 9th, 6-0 202; Tedy Bruschi, LB, 9th, 6-1 247; Rodney Harrison, S, 11th, 6-1 220

Notable Additions: Corey Dillon, RB (Cincinnati), Josh Miller, P (Pittsburgh), Ben Watson, TE (1st round draft), Vince Wilfork, DL (1st round draft), Keith Traylor, DL (Chicago)

Notable Subtractions: Ted Washington, DL (Oakland), Damien Woody (Detroit), Terrell Buckley, DB (Cut), Chris Akins, S (Miami)

Notable Returnees: Rosevelt Colvin, LB (returns from IR); Russ Hochstein, OL

The Patriots have one of the best clutch quarterbacks in the game today in Brady. He is very accurate in the short to intermediate range, and his deep ball has improved considerably. He has good arm strength and athletic ability, but the thing that really makes him great is his understanding of head coach Bill Belichick's offense. And with two Super Bowl wins under his belt at this early stage of his career, he's incredibly experienced for a guy that's only been in the league for four years. After an MVP performance in NFL Europe this year, second-year QB Rohan Davey appears to have the inside track on the backup job, with developmental prospect Kliff Kingsbury filling the No. 3 role. Davey, who has an excellent arm and tremendous size, tossed a couple touchdown passes in the Pats first preseason game, probably solidifying his hold on the No. 2 job.

Dillon is a big back with the potential to dominate games, but he is inconsistent. However, Belichick has a way of getting the best out of his players, which may keep Dillon from disappearing at times like he did in Cincinnati.. He's a punishing runner between the tackles, and he has the speed to get to the outside, which gives New England a dimension their offense has not had recently. I don't expect the Patriots to go away from the passing attack that has been so successful, but now they have a back that can grind things out in the fourth quarter after that short passing attack has the Patriots in the lead. Kevin Faulk, who will backup Dillon, should provide a nice change of pace and is likely to see a lot of action on third-down situations. He has good receiving skills and is elusive in the open field, but he has durability concerns. Fourth-round rookie Cedric Cobbs, who has excellent size, strength, and speed, will likely fill the No. 3 role.

New England has a glut of talented wideouts, including Troy Brown (40 receptions, 4 TD), Deion Branch (57 receptions, 3 TD), and David Givens (34 receptions, 6 TD), who will all get touches in the Patriots' diverse attack. Former starter David Patten (9 receptions) missed most of last season with injury, and will battle for a place in the offense along with one-time 49ers starter J.J. Stokes (15 receptions with Patriots and Jaguars). Bethel Johnson (16 receptions, 2 TD) would get a lot of chances on most clubs, but on the deep Patriots he will mainly be featured on special teams. Belichick's squad is also stacked at tight end, where Daniel Graham (38 receptions, 4 TD) and Christian Fauria (28 receptions, 2 TD) could be challenged by first-round draft choice Ben Watson (Georgia).

Since everyone will be gunning for the defending Super Bowl champs, the talk of the Patriots becoming the first team since the 1972 Dolphins to finish the season undefeated is pretty absurd. Someone will knock off New England, but anything less than 13 wins will be a big surprise. The Patriots are talented, but more importantly, they're deep, which will minimize the effect of the inevitable injuries the team will suffer. Belichick's team can't afford too many hurts on the defensive line, and the loss of Brady would certainly cast doubts on their chances. But barring any of the above, the Patriots have a terrific chance to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl winners since the 1997-98 Broncos.

[Edited on 13/9/04 by TRD]

posted on Sep, 12 2004 @ 10:14 PM
Repeat? It's possible. This team is loaded. But the rest of the AFC has put a target on thier back. Oakland, Indianapolis, Tennessee...all want vengence for recent playoff losses. If the Pats don't get home field advantage for the playoffs, one of them will get it. (OK, well, maybe not the Raiders, they'll be lucky they aren't golfing during the playoffs...) If the Pats do get home field advantage, watch out, they just may be the repeat champs they think they are.

posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 10:15 PM
The only question that remains is wil anybody ever beat this team?


posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 03:34 PM
The battle of unbeaten division rivals ended with a predictable winner as Corey Dillon rushed for 115 yards and the New England Patriots posted a 13-7 victory over the New York Jets.

It marked the first time since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 that two 5-0 teams from the same division faced off and it was the Patriots who improved to 6-0 for the first time in franchise history and set an NFL regular season record with their 18th consecutive win.

The Jets held a 7-6 lead when Chad Pennington scored on a one-yard run with 1:55 left in the second quarter.

But Tom Brady wouldn't let the Jets go into the locker room with a lead. He completed 6-of-6 passes for 62 yards on New England's next drive, capping it with a seven-yard scoring toss to David Patten with 11 seconds left in the half.

That turned out to be the last score of the game as the Pats flustered Pennington in the second half.


posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 04:10 PM

The Patriots' David Patten comes down with a TD pass in the second quarter, Sunday.

posted on Oct, 25 2004 @ 07:19 PM
Impressive, I think that this team could be the one to run the table. I've always thought that another team would do it eventually, and I am finally convinced.


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