There are many football fans out there that believe the Patriots’ home loss to Baltimore last Januray, the first in the Bill Belichick era, signaled the end of the dynasty. Others argue it may have ended in the Super Bowl XLII loss since they haven’t won a playoff game since. Regardless, it’s quite obvious that New England has to earn its respect back as they are no longer the feared team they once were. In fact, they aren’t even the favorite in the AFC East this fall. Our 32 NFL teams in 32 days season preview series continues with a look at the 2010 New England Patriots. Basketball Odds NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 2009 Record:10-7 (-0.7 ML Units), 8-8 ATS DIVISION:AFC East COACH:Bill Belichick, 11th year (126-52 SU, 101-73 ATS) STADIUM:Gillette Stadium Odds to win Super Bowl XLV:10 to 1, AFC Title:5 to 1 StatFox Power Rating:26 (#9 of 32) StatFox Outplay Factor Rating:+8.4 (#3 of 32)
2009 Key Team Stats & NFL Ranks Scoring Differential: +7.2 (#7 of 32) Yardage Differential: +68.4 (#5 of 32) Yards Per Play Differential: +0.38 (#12 of 32) Yards Per Point Differential: +2.08 (#11 of 32) Turnover Differential: +6 (#8 of 32) Total Offense (Yards Per Game): 385.5 (#4 of 32) Total Defense (Yards Per Game): 317.1 (#9 of 32)
2010 SCHEDULE: Strength – 21.63 (4th toughest of 32) DATE – OPPONENT, TIME 9/12/10 – CINCINNATI, 1:00 PM 9/19/10 – at NY Jets, 4:15 PM 9/26/10 – BUFFALO, 1:00 PM 10/4/10 – at Miami, 8:30 PM 10/17/10 – BALTIMORE, 1:00 PM 10/24/10 – at San Diego, 4:15 PM 10/31/10 – MINNESOTA, 4:15 PM 11/7/10 – at Cleveland, 1:00 PM 11/14/10 – at Pittsburgh, 8:20 PM 11/21/10 – INDIANAPOLIS, 4:15 PM 11/25/10 – at Detroit, 12:30 PM 12/6/10 – NY JETS, 8:30 PM 12/12/10 – at Chicago, 1:00 PM 12/19/10 – GREEN BAY, 8:20 PM 12/26/10 – at Buffalo, 1:00 PM 1/2/11 – MIAMI, 1:00 PM
Sample StatFox Power Trend for 2010
NEW ENGLAND is on a 21-5 ATS (+15.5 Units) run vs. marginal winning teams (Win Pct. 51% to 60%) The Average Score was NEW ENGLAND 24.9, OPPONENT 16 Baseball Odds
For years Bill Belichick has had the perfect blend of veterans, players hitting their prime and rookies to learn the ropes of the system, allowing the Patriots to turn in a dynasty that lasted nearly a decade. But after New England had its doors blown off by Baltimore in the wild-card round, 33-14, it was evident that the equation changed enough to force drastic changes or the Patriots risked getting buried in the AFC. Belichick is set to take over the controls on both offense and defense as he tries to steady the ship…As long as Tom Brady is healthy—and that was a major question last season despite 4,398 yards passing and 28 touchdowns—he’ll carry the offense on his right arm. The weapons surrounding him are getting older, most notably Randy Moss (33 years old), but the offensive line is still at the top of its game, so protection shouldn’t be an issue. And when Brady has time to throw, he’ll find the open guy. Brady was sacked just 16 times and despite the lack of a dominant runner—Laurence Maroney led the way with 757 yards—New England still ranked 12th in rushing (120.1 YPG). If offseason reports are true, WR Wes Welker, who led the league with 123 catches, could be back in uniform for Week 1 after tearing an ACL in the season finale…The stop unit is going to get a major facelift, if not this fall, then certainly by the start of 2011. Belichick has started laying the new foundation to help out the centerpiece, LB Jerod Mayo, by adding fresh blood at every level of the unit…Little separated New England from the rest of the AFC East pack last season, and for once, age appears to be more than just a number. The franchise isn’t down & out but might finish out of the playoffs. Sports Scores
Sportsbook.com Regular Season Wins Prop: Over/Under 9.5 StatFox Steve’s Take: The early schedule doesn’t do any favors for the Patriots as they look to start fast and erase the memories of last January’s playoff loss. The first seven games are made up of five defending playoff teams and two other divisional foes. Still, Tom Brady is still around and remains one of the best in the business. I’ll lean slightly over and look for a 10-6 campaign.
For a more complete look at the 2010 college and pro football seasons, pick up your copy of our annual football magazine, the StatFox Edge, a 160-page Ultimate Handicapping Resource!
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