The Reincarnation of the N.E. Patriots

Connor McDermott '24, Contributing Writer

What a thrilling past month it has been for Patriots fans. With the rise of star quarterback Mac Jones, the Patriots’ future is looking brighter than ever. Coming off a huge win over the Cleveland Browns, the Patriots are now 6-4 and looking to contend in the playoffs this year.

After starting with an underwhelming 1-3 record, people were having doubts about Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck. However, since the start of the season, it is clear why he has been an annual “coach of the year” contender. Belicheck has done a fantastic job scheming defensive plans against QB’s. For example, when facing off with number 2 overall pick Zach Wilson for the New York Jets, he forced him into a situation to throw four interceptions.

Not only are the Patriots coaching staff looking elite, but so is the Pats first round quarterback Mac Jones. There were many doubts coming into the season about Jones since he was playing with one of the most touted receiving cores at Alabama.

Sports analysts and former First Take host Max Kellerman said Jones “lacked the physical ability to be elite.”

Well clearly Jones has shut down all the concerns from pre season as he ranks top of the rookie class for quarterbacks. One part of Jones’ game no one doubted was his accuracy, and it has stayed true as he has the fourth best completion percentage in the NFL.

As you may know this past offseason for the Patriots was huge as they brought in loads of talent. Starting with former Ravens linebacker Matt Judon was signed to a four-year, $56 million dollar contract with the Patriots. So far Judon has not only lived up to expectations, but completely surpassed them as he is fourth in the NFL for sacks. This added pressure to opposing quarterbacks has made what was a good defense an elite one.

Judon was not the only big signing as the Patriots brought in both Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Tight end was a huge position in need because in 2020, Patriots tight ends tallied only 253 receiving yards total. It has been a bit of a different story this year as Henry and Smith have combined already for 538 yards though ten weeks. Although Smith hasn’t lived up to the big expectations, Henry for sure has. No Patriots fan can deny that there is a special connection with Jones and Henry in the red zone as Henry can account for 53% of Jones’ touchdowns.

With seven games left in the season for the Patriots, they should be aiming to finish with an 11 win season. I believe that the Patriots have all the components necessary to beat the top teams like Buffalo and Tennessee who are left on the schedule. With the talented defense and offense the Pats have, they should at least have a divisional round appearance.

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