Most people experience déjà vu through a random experience. Maybe it’s a place they visit, or a conversation they have, or a specific setting or situation they find themselves in. It is usually somewhat ambiguous and pretty harmless.
But for the New England Patriots, déjà vu can be equated to a kick square in the face.
Last season the Patriots found themselves once again on the verge of another Super Bowl Championship only to have it ripped from their grasp at the final moment. And once again their bitter defeat came at the hands of the New York Giants.
Get a $100 Free Bet,
Paid Cash No Rollovers
(Offer good for new customers only)
Their championship disappointment has left an extremely bitter taste in New England’s collective mouth. Brady, Belichick and company are just itching to get this year’s campaign underway as offensive and defensive upgrades, as well as a favorable schedule, have New England as one of the favorites to get back to the big game.
Did the Patriots get by last season due to a down year for the AFC or is their squad better than what people give them credit for? Let’s take a look as we go over some 2012 New England Patriots predictions and futures odds:
The Patriots offense was one of the best in the NFL last season as the Pats ranked second in both total yards and passing yards. They were also third in the league in points per game at 32.1. The Patriots offense was nearly good enough to win a Super Bowl by itself, as their defense was one of the worst in the NFL.
Wide receiver depth was an issue. The Pats didn’t have much at the position outside of Wes Welker. This offseason they went out and snatched Donte Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, and Brandon Lloyd. Stallworth and Gaffney aren’t going to light up the scoreboard. But they have played in the Patriots system and Lloyd had the best year of his career under Josh McDaniels in Denver. Lloyd gives the Patriots that big, outside receiver that they have been lacking since Randy Moss left town. But who are we kidding: it will be Brady to Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Welker as always, and they will continue to score 30+ points a game.
Speaking of Rob Gronkowski, keep an eye on him this preseason as he is bouncing back from ankle surgery. He has struggled a bit this preseason with drops and blocking due to the pressure on this ankle, but he is an absolute beast and will be again this season. Look for New England to continue to develop Aaron Hernandez as well, as he could develop to be even a bigger mismatch than Gronk.
New England made sure to keep their offensive line intact. Anyone that knows football knows that the key to winning games is in the offensive and defensive lines (unless you have Tom Brady). The Patriots lost veteran left tackle Matt Light to retirement, but they replaced him with Nate Solder. It’s not equal value, but solid nonetheless. The offensive line did receive some depth as well with the addition of Robert Gallery this offseason.
This was one suspect defense last season. The Patriots gave up an average of 411.1 yards per game, which was good for 31st out of 32 NFL teams. (Green Bay was 32 – so it isn’t that bad as they both made at least the conference semifinals last season.) New England gave up only 21.4 points per game, good for 15th in the league, but that stat can be a bit deceiving as many of their opponents were down and had to take chances in the second half by throwing the ball over and over again.
Following their dismal defensive performance last season the Patriots went out and upgraded their secondary. The Pats signed Steve Gregory and drafted Tavon Wilson and Alfonzo Dennard.
The Pats strong point on the defensive side of the ball was their rush defense, which ranked 17th in the NFL, and their linebacking corps. The line was bolstered by the additions of Jonathan Fanene and Trevor Scott and the linebackers get a boost with draftees Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower.
The belief is that another year of experience for what was a relatively young defense will have a big impact for the Pats this year.
2012 New England Patriots Schedule Analysis
It seems the NFL is handing the Pats a free trip to home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Out of their 16 regular season games there are only a handful that one could even consider possible stumbling blocks. The Pats play Denver, New York Jets, Houston, and San Francisco all at home this season. Their only difficult road games are at Baltimore in Week 3 and at the rival Jets in Week 12.
If you are a fan of the trap bet, keep an eye on their Week 7 game at Seattle (Oct. 14). This is a difficult place to play and it follows their home game versus Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The following week is a home game versus the New York Jets, and that trip to Seattle is smack in the middle.
New England only has to face four teams that made the playoffs last season.
2012 New England Patriots Futures and Odds to Win Super Bowl
The New England Patriots odds to win the AFC Championship are +325 and their odds to win the 2012-2013 Super Bowl are +600, according to 5Dimes.
The Patriots season win total “over/under” is currently set at 12.0.
2012 New England Patriots Predictions
This team with all its faults and prowess is still one of the best the NFL has to offer. With their schedule far from dubious the Patriots should win a minimum of 12 games. If they can get by their Week 3 battle with Baltimore they should have no more than one loss heading into their bye. And that is only if Peyton Manning and Denver can slip one by the Pats (which I don’t see happening).
The Patriots should be 8-0 heading into their bye, and after beating Indianapolis and Buffalo they will be 10-0 with a matchup in the new Meadowlands versus the Jets. Week 14 and 15 will showcase the NFL’s Monday/Sunday night football schedule as the Patriots play Houston on Monday Night and the 49ers the following Sunday. New England could definitely lose one of those but not both.
The Patriots are a lock to finish no worse than 12-4. I think 13-3 or 14-2 is much more probable than even the 12 wins. The play here is to take over 12 wins.
Strike Point Sports is coming off one of the best NFL handicapping seasons in the country last year. They posted 15 of 21 winning NFL weeks and banked $7,000 in profit on the gridiron. You can sign up HERE. And Doc’s Sports is offering $60 worth of member’s picks absolutely free – no obligation, no sales people – you don’t even have to enter credit card information. You can use this $60 credit any way you please for any handicapper and any sport on Doc’s Sports Advisory Board list of expert sports handicappers. Click here for more details and take advantage of this free $60 picks credit today.