New England Patriots
|Date & Time||Tuesday June 23, 2015, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
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After winning yet another Super Bowl, the New England Patriots will look to reach the playoffs for the seventh straight season.
With the deflategate stuff hopefully behind us, let’s take a look at how the Pats shape up heading into the 2015 season.
Key Player Losses: Really the only big loss the Patriots have to replace is cornerback Darrelle Revis, who was seventh on the team with 57 tackles and consistently shut down the opponent's best receiver. The Pats also lost Brandon Spikes and Vince Wilfork on the defensive end, but both guys were getting up there in age anyway. Offensively, the Patriots saw two of their better running backs in Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley leave for other teams. This means LeGarrette Blount should be in store for a lot more carries after touching the ball 125 times last season.
Key Player Additions: The Patriots signed tight end Scott Chandler, who had 47 receptions for nearly 500 receiving yards last season for the Buffalo Bills. Chandler will matchup nicely with Rob Gronkowski and take some of the pressure off the Pro Bowl target. On the defensive side, New England signed an underrated cornerback in Robert McClain, who had three solid seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, which includes two interceptions and five pass deflections last season. The Pats also signed backup QB Matt Flynn, who could come in handy if Tom Brady is going to miss a few games due to suspension.
Draft: The Patriots went heavy on defensive players with their first four picks, which included Malcom Brown, Jordan Richards, Geneo Grissom and Trey Flowers. Brown could be a solid replacement for Wilfork in the middle of the defensive line, and Flowers is a natural pass rusher who could be the steal in the fourth round. Tight end AJ Derby also gives the Pats value, as he has solid speed and can make plays across the middle.
2015 Outlook: The New England Patriots are pretty much what they’ve been over the years, a very talented team with great coaching and one of the best quarterbacks ever. Nothing is going to change this year. Sure, Brady missing a few games could lead to a rocky start, but this is still a team that should win double-digit games and make the playoffs once again. The Patriots are still the team to beat in the AFC East and will always be a threat come playoff time with No. 12 leading the way.
New England Patriots 2015 Schedule:
Sept. 10 Pittsburgh Steelers (Thu), 8:30
Sept. 20 at Buffalo Bills, 1
Sept. 27 Jacksonville Jaguars, 1
Oct. 4 BYE
Oct. 11 at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25
Oct. 18 at Indianapolis Colts*, 8:30
Oct. 25 New York Jets, 1
Oct. 29 Miami Dolphins (Thu), 8:25
Nov. 8 Washington Redskins, 1
Nov. 15 at New York Giants, 4:25
Nov. 23 Buffalo Bills (Mon), 8:30
Nov. 29 at Denver Broncos*, 8:30
Dec. 6 Philadelphia Eagles, 4:25
Dec. 13 at Houston Texans, 1
Dec. 20 Tennessee Titans, 1
Dec. 27 at New York Jets, 1
Jan. 3 at Miami Dolphins, 1