Now that Super Bowl 52 is in the record books it’s time to open another chapter for the New England Patriots. The Patriots are coming off a stunning loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, the story of the game was backup quarterback Nick Foles. Foles took over late in the season after an injury to starter Carson Wentz. Foles put the critics behind him and led the underrated Eagles to a 41-33 victory. Not to mention throwing for 373 yards and compiling a 97.5 % passing rating. But through everything Patriots, fans have reason to be optimistic for the upcoming 2018 season. In this post, we will review three areas why the Patriots defense is Super Bowl material.
Why The Patriots Defense Is Super Bowl Material
Improved Front Seven
Anyone who is a fan of Bill Belichick knows how much he thrives on depth and versatility. Despite not playing Malcolm Butler in The Super Bowl he retooled the defense in the off-season.
Previous Patriot defenses have been known for their sound front seven. The first order of business was to improve the pass rush which was non_ existent in the Super Bowl. Free agent defensive end Adrian Clayborn was signed from Atlanta. Clayborn, a seven year veteran, has started 81 career games. The former first round draft pick by Tampa will provide depth and pass rushing skills.
In addition to Clayborn the team signed defensive tackle Danny Shelton from Cleveland. Shelton a three year veteran has played in 46 career games totaling 71 career tackles. If Clayborn and Shelton can stay healthy, then they should be a vast improvement in stopping the oppositions running game.
Improved Pass Coverage
In 2017 the club gave up a total of 4400 yards passing. In the Super Bowl, Foles had a career day throwing for 373 yards To shore up the defensive backfield Belichick drafted cornerback Duke Dawson out of Florida. Dawson who has a reputation of being an exceptional cover man and should provide depth when the team goes to dime coverage.
Also joining the backfield is former Brown Jason McCourty. McCourty, the younger brother of safety Devin brings eight years experience to the organization. Overall, McCourty has played in 122 career games with 16 interceptions and one touchdown.
With the addition of his brother Devin and Stephon Gilmore, the backfield should be much more dangerous in pass coverage.
With a new defensive coordinator in Brian Flores the Patriots have reasons to be optimistic this year. Even though the team lost one of the best defensive minds in the game in Matt Patricia the Patriots defense should be better with the acquisitions of Shelton and Clayborn on the line. Also, keep in mind 2016 3rd round pick Derek Rivers. Rivers was one of the teams four picks in the deflate gate scandal. Rivers who is a pass rushing specialist out of Youngstown State. He suffered a season-ending knee injury during pre-season last summer. If he can recuperate from surgery, look for him to compete for a starting position as an edge rusher.
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