TEAM: New England Patriots
SPEC. TEAMS B
FRONT OFFICE B+
STRENGTH WR, DT, OB, RB, KS
WEAKNESS OL, DC, DS
OFF. MVP Randy Moss
DEF. MVP Richard Seymour
TOP ROOKIE Jerod Mayo
Comments: The Patriots lost their heart and soul when Tom Brady was injured in the season opener and took another hit last spring losing both starting corners from the 2007 AFC championship club via free agency. The Patriots are extremely well coached, are an experienced, game-ready group particularly on the defensive side of the football and do not beat themselves, but at the same time their extended window of opportunity has begun to close. There are some obvious problems in the secondary, the entire defense is beginning to show its age, the offensive line is in a word ordinary and the Patriots are talented, but woefully inexperienced at the quarterback position.
The receiving position is first-rate, as is the running back position (minus Laurence Maroney) is much underrated. Vincent Wilfork, Richard Seymour are top performers and rookie linebacker sensation Jerod Mayo is going to be very a special players in the not to distant future.
The Patriots have solid ownership and some high profile front office executives, but nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing gets done without an okay from head coach Bill Belichick.
If the Pats can avoid further injuries to key personnel, I believe they will be there in the end (top of the AFC East Division), but without their offensive leader Tom Brady, making it back to the big game does not appear likely at this stage.