New England Patriots 2008 NFL Projection:
The New England Patriots have suffered three straight traumatic postseason ends;
- A divisional playoff
loss at Denver in 2006, in which the Pats out-gained the Broncos 2 to 1 in total yards.
An 18 point blown lead at Indianapolis in the
2007 AFC title game.
- And of course most recently the Giants scoring a touchdown with less than 60 seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLII
to ruin what would have been the first ever (19-0) campaign.
As far as the loss to the Giants, we would have to say that
there isn’t much doubt in our minds that if Rosevelt Colvin hadn’t been injured, Eli Manning probably wouldn’t have had enough time to get off
some of his miraculous throws.
Then again, perhaps it was just the ghost of Spygate come home to roost… Or perhaps it was lack of creative thinking to
insert Randy Moss as a free safety in the closing minute of the Super Bowl to blanket Plaxico Burress in the end zone!
I was calling for it.
Regardless, the 2008 Patriots must feel like they have unfinished business to attend to.
Speaking of Colvin, the Patriots have parted ways with the speedy linebacker due to his broken foot / high salary.
Colvin’s departure has left a hole at linebacker the Pats hope will be filled adequately by 1st round pick Jerod Mayo, hence shifting Adalius Thomas outside.
Meanwhile, the departures of Asante Samuel, Eugene Wilson, and Randall Gay have once again left the secondary as the number one question mark
in New England…
That’s bad news considering the Jets have just added
Favre, who ought to be able to connect on a lot more deep balls
to Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery than Chad Pennington.
In the draft the Patriots grabbed Terrence Wheatley with their 2nd round pick in an effort to
replenish their secondary. The Pats also added John Lynch during the preseason, but then let him go.
Fernando Bryant who was acquired during the off-season from Detroit was also released.
Defensive success in 2008 is most likely in the hands of Richard Seymour. If he can make it through the season healthy, it could go a long way
towards removing pressure from the secondary.
Little needs to be said about New England’s offensive line and quarterbacking.
Meanwhile, Maroney looks ready to shoulder a larger role in the running game having
adapted more to NFL style running.
The Patriots parted ways with Donte’ Stallworth. While Stallworth dropped a few catchable balls last season,
he also contributed some electrifying breaking of tackles. At any rate, due to the seasons turned in by
Moss and Welker, and with Gaffney there to pick up the slack, he apparantly became expendable in the Patriots’ prolific passing game.
As if the Patriots weren’t already playing from a position of strength, they have drawn the league’s easiest schedule on paper.
With no division rivals finishing at .500 or better in 2007, the Fish posting a (1-15) mark, and the AFC East matching up
against the NFC West this season, it’s easy to see how their schedule
appears so easy.
Overall, the Patriots will play just 4 games against playoff squads from a year ago as follows;
Note the Patriots do play both the Chargers and the Colts on the road.
Furthermore, the addition of Brett Favre makes the Jets a lot more formidible. So that’s a couple of more tough contests.
But Patriots’ fans
need not despair. The last time New England lost a game in the regular season was December 10, 2006, when they were blanked by the Dolphins!
Coming into last season we projected the Patriots’ schedule as being quite tough. Yet they topped our (14-2) prediction by two games
to go undefeated… So can they do it again?
Think of it this way… While the odds of going undefeated two seasons in a row are long, these guys are half way there.
Sure the Patriots have lost some key players. But this team isn’t just about players, it’s about coaching.
Anyone who doesn’t think the Patriots have the capability to bounce right back and contend for another Super Bowl
after last season’s disappointing finish
hasn’t watched many Patriots’ games this millennium…
As the season hasn’t yet begun, we’re upgrading our record prediction for the Patriots from a prediction of (13-3)
While other teams have stars dropping like flies this preseason to injuries, the Patriots have been smart in preseason
He doesn’t really need to play in preseason games, just like the Giants’ Plaxico Burress doesn’t need to practice
during the week to be effective on Sundays.
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2008, remember to
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Free 2008 NFL Predictions Note:
these now archived 2008 NFL forecasts were made
during the 2008 preseason.
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football campaign which may have affected
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