NFL PREVIEW: THE NEW LOOK PATRIOTS, WHAT TO EXPECT

The Patriots may feel the title slipped from them, was taken from them or that their mojo ran out, but they won’t feel any less hungry come next season…

The New England Patriots lost narrowly to a brilliant Eagles team that was just not going to be stopped even by the best quarterback and coach pair in the league and despite all the talk of breakups and fallouts, Bill Belichick and his Brady bunch will be back come the 2018/2019 season to reclaim what they believe is theirs.

The Patriots will also have a new look and feel to them, after letting go of Garoppolo, Brisset, and most recently wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Their most recent move was not without a plan and intent, though, as the Patriots traded Cooks to the LA Rams for a pair of picks which includes the 23rd overall in this year’s NFL draft,  meaning they now have a luxurious and rare well-placed multiple picks in the first two rounds in this year’s draft. While everybody may be thinking a quarterback with an eye on the future will be best for the Patriots and their ageing main man Tom Brady, the reigning AFC champions have some holes that need work if they want to run smoothly this season; the secondary, edge defense and left tackle position all need serious work if the Pats want a much successful run this time around, and after losing Nate Solder, left tackle becomes all the more important.

Another issue was Rob Gronkowski and all the trade rumors circulating, after his frustrations with coach Belichick, but the Patriots are certain he won’t be traded and will be ready to go come next season. Odell Beckham Jr has been the high profile name making the rounds and some theories report that the Pats could be preparing a package to land Beckham, who has not done himself any favors with the Giants this off-season, but we doubt Bill Belichick will be interested in such a move.

All this taken into account, the new season isn’t likely to meet the best possible Patriots, but their first 10 games (dates to be announced) look very friendly and comfortable, with the exceptions being a predicted tough run-in with the Packers and Minnesota Vikings, two teams which currently sit high up in the betting odds for Super Bowl contention come to the end.

The Patriots have quite some work on their hands and some tidying up before they can truly look their usual championship self, but with Bill Belichick on board, Tom Brady, a possible new contract to Rob Gronkowski (and a truce with Belichick), and a patching of their lacking positions will go a long way to making the new look team just as dominating. With a point to prove, a title to recapture and also to regain the confidence of their fans, it’s no wonder the Patriots are still the favorites with the bookmakers to make the Super Bowl once again.