Are you ready for some football? The Patriots are…

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Photo, New England Patriots Twitter page

Are you ready for some football? The Patriots are…

by John Cardullo, sports writer, RINewsToday.com

 

The calendar is showing late August, high school sports is revving up, baseball is winding down and very shortly there will be a crispness in the air and the leaves will begin to turn from green to orange to brown and fall to the ground. This only means one thing; the NFL season is here.

 

The guys and girls have gotten together to have their fantasy football drafts, life choices, and schedules have been made and arranged around Sundays, Monday and Thursday nights, and in some cases if you’re really hooked, throw in Saturdays as well. For fans of the New England Patriots, (America’s most beloved team, or despised, depending on what part of the country you’re from) it’s another run for Super Bowl #7.

 

Since 2001 it’s hard to talk about Pro football without mentioning the Patriots. The team has been in the play-off’s every year except one since they shocked the world with a young quarterback who by virtue of a Moe Lewis tackle of Drew Bledsoe, went onto take the Patriots to 9 Super Bowls, winning 6 of them. The question is, can a 42-year-old Tom Brady still have what it takes to lead the Pats to a seventh championship? By looking at “Tom terrific” he seems to haven’t missed a step. His love of the game is there, he’s in better shape now than he was in the early part of this dynasty and he has mastered this “system” offense.

 

Brady aside, it looks as though he has all the weapons in place, last year’s Super Bowl MVP Julius Edelman is back, as well a newly activated deep threat, Josh Gordon. The offense looks solid. Fans have complained that the Patriots never give Brady the weapons he deserves and that since Randy Moss was here the Patriots never invested in any talent to go with their Pro Bowl Quarterback, but they kept winning championships. Yes, gone (so far) is Rob Gronkowski the talented tight end who hung up his cleats (or did he?) after last year’s Super Bowl win over the Los Angeles Rams.

 

The offense seems that it will be fine, and the special teams look to be dominating as they have been the last several years. It is, however, the defense that seems to be on a mission ever since holding the Rams to 3 points in the last year’s Super Bowl, the defense this preseason hasn’t missed a beat. There used to be a saying that defense wins championships. That was at a time when defenses could virtually mug an offensive player from the line of scrimmage. The rules have changed to where the defense plays a glorified two hand touch game or fear of getting penalized. This Patriots defense so far seemed to make the adjustments to the new rules and adapted, but time will tell. This is the way future Hall of Fame head Coach Bill Belichek likes it. Always a coach who can make adjustments on the fly, Coach Belichek’s love of defensive battles goes back to when he coached the New York Giants defense led at the time by Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson.

 

The only downside to the season is that it has been a tradition lately that the season kicks off on Thursday night with the defending Super Bowl Champion hosting the season kick off game. This being the 100th year anniversary of the National Football League, the honor of kicking off the 2019 season will go to two of the oldest NFL’s franchises the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. The Patriots will have to wait until the Sunday Night feature game when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at 8:30 pm at Gillette Stadium, where they will raise banner number 6.