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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS TEAM PROFILE


2007-2008 New England Patriots Playoff Profile
Regular Season Record: 16-0
Last Six Games: 6-0
All-Time Playoff Record: 19-12



Team Colors: Nautical Blue, New Century Silver, Red, and White
Head Coach: Bill Belichick
Owner: Robert Kraft
Mascot: Pat Patriot
Location: Foxboro, Massachusetts

Offensive Ranking:
Run: 13th (115.6)
Pass: 1st (295.7)
Overall: 1st (411.3)
Points Per Game: 1st (36.8)
Key Player: Tom Brady
What more can you say about Tom Brady that hasn't already been said? He's probably already solidified his spot in the Hall of Fame with three Super Bowl victories in a four-season span. He keeps his poise under pressure, and makes the big plays when he has too.

The Pats offensive line makes his job easier by consistently giving him all kinds of time to throw the ball. Wide receiver Randy Moss also deserves a mention here because his presence just opens up so much for other players on the team.

Defensive Rankings:
Run: 10th (98.3)
Pass: 6th (190.1)
Overall: 4th (288.3)
Points Per Game: 17.1
Key Player: Mike Vrabel
Vrabel has been among the league's best at making plays behind the line of scrimmage, and he's a Defensive Player of the Year candidate because of it. The Pats' system relies heavily on the play of its linebackers, and Vrabel is the best of the bunch at getting to the quarterback, which will be key if New England finds itself in yet another showdown with the Indianapolis Colts.

Special Teams:
Key Player: Stephen Gostkowski
Gostkowski isn't often called on to make clutch kicks at the end of games, but he may be tested on at least one occasion during the postseason, and he must be ready to come through.

Turnovers:
Give Aways: 15
Take Aways: 31

Outlook:
At this point, the Patriots have to be considered the favorite to win Super Bowl XLII, but their success during the regular season could work against them in the playoffs. If they fail to win the championship following, it will be considered a monumental letdown, and their undefeated season will lose a lot of its luster. Make no mistake about it. There is a lot of pressure on this team to finish the deal.
Having said that, this is a supremely talented team led by a clutch quarterback. And Bill Belichick has a way to get his guys to rise to the occasion week after week. So expect the Pats to be a huge factor. At the time of this post the odds dropped from 14 points to 12 point favourites to beat the New York Giants and finish with a perfect season.

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