The New England Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champions, but they are not going to be the ones that are going to enjoy it for too long. They are making a lot of moves with their best maybe coming the last. Bill Belichick has done a great job with this team in the Free Agency.
They look stacked. Brady had a lot of weapons that contributed last season, but he didn’t have his best one. Gronkowski was out, and they still ended up going all the way. Then, they added a deep threat in Brandin Cooks, a guy that is going to open up everything for the other guys and will be a second go-to guy, right behind Gronk. In the slot is Edelman, a guy that is a warrior of the highest order and one of the toughest players in the NFL.
Hogan is that second deep threat that they have, while Amendola and Mitchell are the guys that can also contribute. Dion Lewis and James White are still on the team, along with the addition of Burkhead.
On the defensive side of the ball, they got their main guy back in Dont’a Hightower. He is the defensive play-caller for this team and the captain of the defense. Pro-Bowler Gilmore is now in the secondary, and he will likely be paired with Malcolm Butler. Most of the defense is still the same, with Kony Ealy, a guy that had a great 2015 season, is now rushing the passer for Belichick.
Are they the favorites? By far. No team is balanced this good on both sides of the ball. They are also versatile as everybody can be used in many different ways. They are deep, well coached, experienced and skilled. The offense is still one of the best with Brady throwing the ball, while it seems that the defense hasn’t lost a step. The Patriots are the clear-cut favorites; there is no doubt about that.