New England Patriots 2019 Season Preview
By Mike D’Abate
Special to Pro Football Guru
With the celebratory confetti from Super Bowl LIII still being shaken from the shoulders of the New England Patriots, an organizational eye is about to be sharply turned toward 2019. The defending Super Bowl Champions are never ones to rest on their laurels. Head coach Bill Belichick always has his team hard at work and looking forward. As a result, New England is not a place for rebuilding, as much as it is reloading.
Despite turning 42 years of age on August 3, quarterback Tom Brady still looks to be every bit the formidable signal caller with which we are familiar. With a solid supporting cast joining him in all three phases of the game, the Patriots look poised to make a run at yet another visit to the Super Bowl in 2019.
Offense: While Brady will miss the productivity of the retired tight end Rob Gronkowski, he will not be devoid of talented rushers and pass catchers. Running backs Sony Michel and James White should anchor a deep rushing attack. While some have speculated that the wide receiving corps might be a problem area, the addition of rookie N’Keal Harry and free agent Maurice Harris should lend some assistance to incumbent Julian Edelman. Demaryius Thomas is likely to open the season on physically-unable-to-perform list, while Josh Gordon’s status remains uncertain. The team could find refuge in the hands of undrafted free agent wideout Jakobi Meyers, who has impressed the masses in training camp. Ultimately, the success of the Patriots offense might be on the shoulders of the offensive line. Despite losing tackle Trent Brown via free agency, Isaiah Wynn, Joe Thuney, Shaq Mason and Marcus Cannon will do an admirable job protecting Brady and Company, under the tutelage of O-Line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
Defense: For those who believe defensive football to be a thing of the past, Super Bowl LIII proved that defense still wins championships. The Pats bolstered an already-stout defense with the acquisitions of linebacker Jamie Collins, defensive end Michael Bennett and defensive tackle Mike Pennel. Returning defensive stalwarts such as Dont’a Hightower, Stephon Gilmore, Kyle Van Noy and Devin McCourty provide stability and continuity. Bennett’s addition should help to lessen the impact of losing pass rusher Trey Flowers to Detroit. Linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, who had showed promise in 2018 before suffering a season-ending injury, will provide some additional pop at the position. The Pats secondary, both at corner and at safety, might be the deepest it has been in quite some time.
Special Teams: Patriots special teams’ captain Matthew Slater is among the very best at his position. The leadership of both Slater, and special teams coach, Joe Judge, consistently keep the Pats among the league leaders in this area. Stephen Gostkowski continues to maintain the kicking duties, while rookie Jake Bailey is expected to give incumbent Ryan Allen quite the battle at the punter position.
Prediction: The Patriots will face some fierce competition for the AFC title in 2019. The Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers and Cleveland Browns are all expected to push New England to its breaking point. However, the Pats have proven their resilience time and time again. While it is true that each year is different, Belichick and Brady remain the constants. Despite some potential playoff battles with the Chiefs and/or Colts, the Patriots’ experience should land them in Miami this February, with a spot in Super Bowl LIV.
Win-Loss Record: 13–3 (1st Place, AFC East, AFC champions)
Mike D’Abate (@mdabateFPC) is a Managing Editor and Columnist for Full Press Coverage. He covers the New England Patriots and provides NFL editorial content. He is also the host of the Locked On Patriots podcast.