Positives to take out of Patriots 2015 season
The New England Patriots 2015 season was an overall disappointment. Injuries and atrocious play by the offensive line brought a once 10-0 start to a screeching halt. The second half of the season was made up of Tom Brady getting smacked after almost every throw and Josh McDaniels calling a desperate offense. The next few days after the Patriots season abruptly ends are some if the worst days of the year in New England, because the long seventh month stretch before the boys return to Foxborough for training camp awaits. Therefore, Patriots fans could use some positivity. So here are some positives to take away from the 2015 season that should make you excited for the 2016 season.
The Patriots have a number one cornerback: Going into this season many thought that the demise of the Patriots season would come against a great quarterback who shredded the inexperienced cornerbacks of the Patriots. Due to the fact that Bill Belichick let Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner walk in the offseason and also release Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard, many believed the Patriots defense would go back to their bend don’t break mentality. However, the Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler stepped up to the challenge. In only his second season after going un-drafted out of division two West Alabama, he was on the field for every defensive snap. He performed as well taking on some of the league’s best wide receivers, and was also named to his first Pro-Bowl. Malcolm Butler is without a doubt the Patriots number one cornerback going forward.
The defensive future is very bright: The Patriots in recent years have been slowly building on the defensive side of the ball. This past year is probably the best it has been in a long time. Next season, you can almost book it that the defensive unit will be even better. Dont’a Hightower, Chandler Jones, Jamie Collins, Devin McCourty, and Malcolm Butler all are heading into the prime of their careers. Along with the veteran leaders such as Rob Ninkovich and Alan Branch, and youngsters such as Dominique Easley and Malcom Brown. There are virtually zero question marks on defense. Just add a better third corner and some line backing depth.
Tom Brady has not declined yet: A vast majority of NFL talk this season has been about how Peyton Manning has looked so much worse than he used to be, and that he is just riding his defense to the Super Bowl. He is just one year older than Tom Brady. So far the Patriots have not had to do that because Tom Brady is still one of the two best quarterbacks in the game. He threw for 4770 yards, 37 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions. That is statistically one of the best seasons in the career of the best quarterback to ever play the game. He will be 39 years old at the start of next season which obviously means that time is ticking. Nevertheless, we haven’t seen anything that tells us that he can’t get the job done.
In the end, this season was a disappointment because the drive for another Super Bowl ended in Denver once again. It is unfortunate because this was one of the most talented Patriots teams we have ever seen. You can blame Belichick for questionable coaching decisions against Philadelphia and odd game strategy going into Miami. That is a go to for media members and some odd school Patriots fans who are rubbed the wrong way by Belichick. They just need to realize how terrible this offensive line was down the stretch this year. It was to the point where the offense couldn’t function. That already seems to be the focus point for the team going into the offseason seeing how offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo has already been fired. If the offensive line can be slightly better, you can bank on the drive for five continuing into Houston for Super Bowl 51 next year.