2020 New England Patriots Review
The 2020 season was the first for the Patriots without quarterback Tom Brady in nearly two decades, and it was a big challenge. The Patriots finished the season with a record of 7-9, failing to qualify for the playoffs.
New England had a number of players opt out of the 2020 season, and this team was missing key pieces on both sides of the ball. The Patriots were still a tough team to beat, but the lack of offense kept this team from being a real postseason contender.
2021 Patriots Offseason Additions
The Patriots had money to spend this offseason, and they went out and got a number of proven veterans. New England should be much improved on both sides of the ball, and it will be a team with plenty of new faces.
Linebacker Matt Judon is arguably the biggest addition, and he should make the Patriots a great defensive team. Tight Ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry will help New England make a big jump on offense.
2021 Patriots Offseason Departures
The biggest loss for the Patriots comes on the offensive line as guard Joe Thuney has signed a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. Center David Andrews has also moved on, and the Patriots will need to find a way to fill those holes.
Bill Belichick is usually very smart when building his roster, and he likely has a plan in place.
Three Key Factors to a Winning Season
Throwing the Football Deep
New England was one of the worst teams in the NFL a season ago when it came to throwing the ball down the field. This allowed opposing defenses to load the box and had an impact on the rushing attack.
The Patriots don’t have to throw the ball deep a ton, but they have to be willing to take some shots to keep the defense honest.
Even though the Patriots need to throw the football more this season, Cam Newton is still going to take off and run. New England has to do a better job of keeping Newton healthy and on the field if they are going to make a run at the AFC East Division title.
Winning Close Games
The Patriots really struggled in one-score games a season ago, and that kept them from reaching the playoffs. There is always some luck involved in close games, and the Patriots will need luck on their side this season.
Rating Their Schedule
The first three weeks in 2021 should allow the Patriots to pick up some wins, but the biggest matchup of the season comes in Week 4. New England will host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a highly-anticipated matchup.
A Week 10 showdown with the Cleveland Browns will prove to be another tough test for the New England Patriots, but that game is at home. Finally, the Patriots will face the Buffalo Bills in Weeks 13 and 16, and those matchups could determine the AFC East champ.
Expectations in 2021
The New England Patriots treated 2020 as a mini rebuilding year, but this team is going to be back with a vengeance this season. Head coach Bill Belichick is not going to waste two seasons in a row, and the Patriots will be back in the playoffs.
The Buffalo Bills are a heavy favorite to win the AFC East but don’t be surprised to see New England in the mix. The Patriots are winning at least 11 games in 2021, and this is a team that can make some noise in the postseason.