It seems like this team for the last decade has been at the top of the AFC East and has been surrounded by controversy over the last decade and a half. The New England Patriots have been at the top of the AFC East, and one of the top teams in the National Football League since Tom Brady was drafted in the 2000 NFL Draft.
They start training camp this week and are coming off a record of 12-4 and won the AFC East division. They would end up making it to the AFC championship game against Tom Brady’s rival Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The Patriots would end up losing the AFC championship game to the eventual Super Bowl Champions Denver Broncos. They are coming into 2016 season under pressure already as Tom Brady won’t be there for the first four games due to the ruling in Deflategate.
Here are the five players I am looking at for the New England Patriots:
Martellus Bennett (TE)
Before the 2016 NFL Draft in April, it was announced that Martellus Bennett was traded to the New England Patriots in March of 2016. I feel the duo of Gronkowski and Bennett will end up helping each other. The last time Bennett was not the go-to- guy on a team you need to go back to his time in Dallas when it was Martellus Bennett and Jason Witten. During his tenure with the Giants and the Bears, he ended up being the go-to-guy. This will also benefit Rob Gronkowski because he was essentially the go-to-guy in New England for so many years.
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB)
There will be someone other than #12 starting under center for the New England Patriots this season for the first four games. I see Jimmy Garoppolo doing well enough to get the Patriots wins. Due to the circumstances that the Patriots are facing for the first quarter of the season, they just need him not to screw up. Being that he is surrounded by veteran players on the offensive side, I don’t see there being a problem.
LaGarette Blount (RB)
Speaking about experienced offensive weapons, Blount is someone who can help Garoppolo out a ton. He is coming into camp this season as the starter and will probably be sharing some time with Steve Jackson, also a veteran running back. What will be interesting to see is if the Patriots go with a two-man formation during the four games when Brady is not being the QB.
Chris Hogan( WR)
Unless you are a Patriots fan, you have no idea who about Chris Hogan. According to the depth chart, he is the 3rd WR behind Amendola and Edelman. Being that both of those guys are incredibly injury prone, he needs to have a great training camp to prove that if one of them goes under, then he can hop right in and perform at a great level.
Terrance Knighton ( Def)
He came from the Washington Redskins and will essentially be asked to be the leader of the defense. Long time Patriot Vince Wilfork has bolted to Houston and now the Patriots defense doesn’t have a “leader.” He is similar is built to Vince Wilfork and it will be interesting to see how long he needs to adjust.