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New England Patriots 2014 Team Preview and Predictions

New England Patriots 2014 Team Preview and Predictions

Football is coming, ladies and gentlemen. As the summer creeps on, we’re busting out the pigskin to take an early look at every team in the league’s offseason prospects, training camp realities, and 2014 outlooks. Read on for everything you need to know about the New England Patriots and while you’re at it peek previews on the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans.

The New England Patriots in the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era have been the most consistently successful franchise in the NFL. And with a few key additions after the NFL’s free agency frenzy, the Pats still figure to be one of the teams in the mix for the Super Bowl this season.

Can the Pats keep the drive alive in 2014? Create a betting account now and get yourself set for what will be another outstanding season in the NFL.

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New England Patriots 2014 Team Preview for the 2014/2015 NFL Season

Offseason Updates (8/22/2014)

Undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler has impressed in training camp. He is currently working his way to a spot in the Pats’ roster, and is learning a lot from veteran teammates Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis and safety Devin McCourty.

In the meantime, five-year veteran tight end Rob Gronkowski is making strides to get back to full health. He had full first-team drills for the first time on August 18 after undergoing ACL surgery on January 9. He connected with Tom Brady twice in his first session back.

Five-year veteran TE D.J. Williams and second-year defensive lineman Marcus Forston were released by the New England Patriots on Thursday, August 21. Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui, Steve Maneri and undrafted free agent Justin Jones now make up the team’s remaining TEs. Meanwhile, Forston’s release is coming as a result of the Pats’ acquisition of Jerel Worthy and Ben Bass off trades.

Overview

2013 Regular Season Record: 12-4 SU/8-8 ATS

The incredibly consistent New England Patriots had another excellent regular season in 2013. The Pats finished 12-4 SU, their 11th-consecutive double-digit win season, to claim the second-best record in the AFC.

[sc:NFL240banner ]Despite Tom Brady (4,343 yards, 60.5% completion, 25 TDs and 11 INTs) having a somewhat subpar season by his standards, he still led New England to their third-straight AFC Championship game, only to fall short to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

With their AFC East rivals featuring quarterbacks with three years’ experience or less, the division they’ve dominated for 11 of the last 13 years once again appears to be the Pats’ to lose. In fact, they’re the biggest divisional favorite in the entire league at -350.

The Pats have turned their 11 Brady-driven playoff appearances into five trips to the Super Bowl, but they’ve famously lost their last two in heartbreaking fashion to the Giants. This year, New England is +750 to snap its decade-long wait for a fourth Super Bowl ring.

Offseason Highlights

With the threat of Manning and the Broncos’ passing game likely in mind, New England went out and signed cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner as their two highest-profile free agent acquisitions.

Revis Island is a three-time First Team All-Pro and is one of the league’s best shutdown corners. Browner, meanwhile, was one of the original members of Seattle’s Legion of Boom, but will be suspended for the first four games of the season for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Together, they should bolster a secondary that Manning smoked for 400 yards in the AFC Championship game.

Darrelle Revis

The Pats’ key offseason departures were also on the defensive side. Last year’s top corner, Aqib Talib, jumped ship to Denver, but the additions of Revis and Browner more than make up for his loss.

Meanwhile, the team opted not to re-sign veteran linebacker Brandon Spikes. New England believe that second-year player Jamie Collins, who performed very well in Spikes’ place during last year’s playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, can fill that role in the team’s run defense. The Pats ranked 30th in the NFL with 134 yards allowed/game last season.

The Patriots also expect injured stars, nose tackle Vince Wilfork and tight end Rob Gronkowski, to be ready sometime early this season.

Wilfork suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 4 last season, and his presence as one of the foundations of the Pats’ 3-4 defense will be greatly welcomed. Meanwhile, the return of the oft-injured Gronkowski should provide Brady with his most dangerous weapon on offense.

Key Betting Matchups of 2014 NFL Season

The Patriots have not won less than 12 games in the past four years, which is why their season win totals like is set at over/under 10.5. Nevertheless, New England has the 10th-toughest schedule this season, in part because of two particular games on its schedule.

November 2 – vs Denver

The annual Manning vs. Brady face-off stays in New England this year. The Pats famously came back from 24 points down at the half to win last season’s head-to-head 34-31 in Foxboro, although the Broncos had the last laugh in the playoffs.

Armed with a much-improved secondary, Brady and the Pats look to improve their record against Manning at home. Brady is 7-2 lifetime vs. Peyton in New England.

November 30 – @ Green Bay

The Patriots trek to Green Bay this year in what looks to be their toughest road game of the season. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have one of the league’s most impressive aerial attacks, and the game will be an important litmus test for the secondary.

Writer’s Prediction

The Pats go 11-5 in the regular season, going over 10.5 wins, but once again fall short in the playoffs.

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Brad
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