NFL

Reasons the Patriots Won’t Win Super Bowl

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Ever since Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl back in 2001, year in and year out the New England Patriots have been the safest pick in regards of representing the AFC in the big game and for good reason.

Head coach Bill Belichick and Brady have been a participant in six Super Bowls, winning four of them. The most recent one coming in Super Bowl XLIX, when the Patriots held on to defeat the Seattle Seahawks, who were looking to repeat.

As the 2016 campaign creeps up, many have the Patriots pinned as the favorites to come out the AFC once again, which makes all the sense in the world, but my job is to tell you why it won’t be so easy.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock all summer, you know that Brady will miss the first four games of the season due to his involvement in ‘Deflategate’.

Fortunately for New England, three of the four games will be in Foxborough, which should make life a little more easier for the 24-year-old fill in at quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo.

In the Patriots first preseason contest over the weekend, Garoppolo played the entire first half, in which he displayed glimpses of what he’s capable of going forward.

Despite being under immense pressure for majority of the night, Garoppolo completed 11-of-18 passes, while being sacked twice and knocked to the turf a couple more times.

Belichick wasn’t surprised.

“I think that’s always been a strength of Jimmy’s,” Belichick stated. “He’s a tough kid. He’s responded well to most of the tests.”

Outside of the lone road game at Arizona, the first three home games are very winnable (Dolphins, Texans and Bills).

With that being said, New England must find a way to replace the production of Chandler Jones, who led the team in sacks a season ago with 12.5.

The hope is that Chris Long and Shea McClellin are able to turn their respective careers around in a different situation.

After all, if it can’t work in New England, where else could it work?

Throughout the years, New England has been known for finding gems in the mud.

However, it may be unfair to expect much from Long, who has been battling nagging injuries for years now and at 31-years-old, he’s clearly outside of his prime.

When you examine this defense, the back seven is really strong.

Linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower are two of the league’s best and with the combination of Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan in the secondary, New England has one of the best back sevens in the entire league.

Nonetheless, there are questions up front on both sides of the ball.

Over the past couple of seasons, New England’s offensive line has regressed due to youth and injury. While the returns of tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer should help dramatically, it’s unclear if they’ll be able to still perform at a high level.

As mentioned before, New England has the tall task of trying to replace Jones’ production. Realistically, if you’re expecting one player to do it alone, you can forget about it.

It must be done by committee, because when facing teams like Pittsburgh getting pressure on Ben Roethlisberger will be mandatory or he’ll have a field day with the weapons he has at his disposal.

All in all, New England will be right in the thick of things as usual, but with so many uncertainties upfront, it’ll be tough to overcome.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.