The first of many questions jersey that executives at Edgbas

The first of many questions jersey that executives at Edgbas

Postautor: lucyweiweiwei » 16 sie 2017, o 09:24

There’s a good chance we have already witnessed the low point of the 2017 Patriots season. Last week the team lost its preseason opener to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 31-24, while playing without stars Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. It was a pointless game, as most every exhibition games is. But since winning the Super Bowl in February in an historic comeback, the champions have loaded up for the games that matter and are heavy favorites to win it all again. Las Vegas sports books have them at 5-2. But there are two other numbers already being talked about with this Patriots team: 19-0.
Ten seasons ago the Patriots were in line to become the first team to go 19-0 and just the second NFL team to win a Super Bowl with a spotless record. But then Eli Manning and David Tyree happened and two other numbers became a joyful punchline for millions of football fans: 18-1. New England have remained a contender under Bill Belichick and Brady every year since, but haven’t been close to sniffing perfection. The year after 18-1, Tom Brady tore his ACL in the season opener, turning the team over to Matt Cassel. No 19-0 hopes there. In 2010, when the Patriots went 14-2, they lost in Week 2 by 14 points to Mark Sanchez and the Jets. A 13-3 season in 2011 featured a Week 3 loss to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills and last year’s 14-2 championship season saw them get shut out by the Bills in Week 4 while playing without the suspended Brady. And of course, who can forget their Super Bowl championship season of 2014, when the Patriots started 2-2 and simply weren’t good anymore?
No one is foolish enough to say this Patriots team isn’t good. Martellus Bennett, Jabaal Sheard, LeGarrette Blount, Logan Ryan and a few other role players moved on in free agency, but the Patriots went out and improved almos across the board, inking Pro Bowl Buffalo cornerback Stephon Gilmore to a five-year deal, acquiring running backs Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead, and landing wide receiver Brandin Cooks and tight end Dwayne Allen via trades. Coming off of back-to-back 1,100-yard season with the Saints, Cooks immediately becomes the best vertical threat Brady has had since Randy Moss and he won’t even turn 24 until after Week 3. Teamed with Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, the Patriots have arguably the best receiving trio in the league, with the inarguable best quarterback throwing to them. And New England’s biggest pick up of all, at least when it comes to a shot at 19-0, is having Brady free from suspension and in the lineup from the get-go this season. While Kevin Durant has not yet offered to sign on as a red zone threat – and maybe he will for the playoffs if the Patriots get to 16-0 – adding the likes Cooks and Gilmore to a 14-2 Super Bowl champion is the closest the NFL has seen to an NBA-style “superteam”.
The Patriots have already heard the talk of 19-0. Edelman tried to dismiss it when speaking to the Boston Herald last month: “When you go out and play in the National Football League, it’s one of those things where it’s even stupid to think about that. It’s never been done. You don’t really want to talk about it. My focus is more on trying to get ready for the season, trying to learn your team-mates, form your identity. [The 19-0 talk is] stupid. That’s it.”But while many sports media narratives are stupid and contrived to fuel ratings and pageviews, talking 19-0 about this Patriots team is not that. If anything, 19-0 hype is a sign of respect for the track record the franchise has and the talent Belichick has assembled. As good as the Falcons and Steelers may look on paper, note there are no whispers about undefeated seasons around them.
Belichick’s bunch are currently favored in all 16 games on their 2017 schedule, including by 6.5 points in a marquee Week 6 matchup against the Falcons. Despite being the best team in the league last year, they were handed just the 12th toughest schedule in the NFL this year – thanks in no small part to being able to feast again on their perpetually weak AFC East “rivals.” (The New York Jets are getting almost the same odds to go 0-16 at 22-1 as the Patriots’ 20-1 odds for 19-0.) If New England can find themselves at 10-0 when Thanksgiving rolls around, they’ll get five AFC East opponents in their final six games including a Week 17 matchup versus the Jets that could see them go for perfection and rest their starters for the playoffs at the same time.
Past dominant Patriots teams have slipped up in September. This year the Patriots start in the NFL opener against the Chiefs at home, where Brady is 120-21 all-time as a starter. Then it’s on to play the 7-9 Saints on the road where the the Patriots’ offense should flourish on the turf, and then back home for the Texans and Panthers. If 19-0 isn’t quite the talk of the NFL yet, it will be if New England opens up 4-0.
Of course, none of that talk will come from Belichick. He doesn’t open up about anything, short of writing the occasional endorsement letter for presidential candidates. He prefers short, mumbled slogans like “do your job” and “on to Cincinnati”. But that one-game-at-a-time mantra Belichick pushes with his team isn’t cliche in New England; it’s gospel. It also only increases New England’s odds of going 19-0. Yes, anything can happen on “any given Sunday,” but the odds of upsetting a team of New England’s caliber drop significantly when that team is drilled to be focused on each game.
Brady won’t talk about 19-0 either.
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Re: The first of many questions jersey that executives at Ed

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