Pretender or Contender

By By Travis H. Singleton, BASN sports writer
Updated: September 20, 2011

BOSTON, MA. (BASN)—The New England Patriots have been off to a fast pace as of late and seems like they are playing with a chip on their shoulder.

Coming out of preseason the Patriots looked a little rough on the edges literally as a defensive line and offensive line because, Albert Haynesworth didn’t get much action and with the veterans on the offensive line getting up there in age people didn’t believe that they would be able to hang with the young and quick speed in the NFL today.

Well after a 2-2 slump in the preseason to some teams many people believed they should of handled to walk right into the regular season the Patriots did struggle. The defense is still learning and are still talented but the secondary is inexperienced and when the Patriots released Brandon Meriweather many people were ready to jump ship but, many people were forgetting about number 12 Tom Brady.

Tom Brady has had the spotlight this season with his rival Peyton Manning out with a neck injury this season that has sidelined him for majority of their schedule. So what does Tom Brady do in the first game of the season against the Miami Dolphins well you guessed it the Dolphins Freed Brady letting him carve up their defense when he wanted too. Tom threw for 517 passing yards in a monster game against an AFC rival as the Patriots won 38-24 but still the defense gave up 416 yards passing to Chad Henne thats not acceptable.

The New England Patriots in my eyes are a tale of two teams because, they can beat you with their offense but, if the offense struggles they can’t beat you with the defense. Defense wins championships and it’s always been that way so I believe the Patriots defense has to step up this season if they want to make it to Indianapolis.

This weekend the Patriots were in a shootout with the New York Giants and this time Tom Brady was going up against Eli Manning and a defense His passing vision is unbelievable and with the way they have that offense playing now I believe they are due for another good season like last year. In the victory there was still a moral loss with their defense giving up 470 yards in a game that’s not good at all. In order for this defense mainly the secondary to wake up they might need to get some experienced players that are good and understand routes and coverages because the youth of the Patriots is showing but, this is what they wanted and this is what they are getting.
Which leads me to my question are the Patriots Pretenders or Contenders?

Well only time will tell but if you asked me they still need to prove themselves to me and the sports world that their defense can compete with some of their competition like the Ravens,Jets, and Steelers. So as of right now going into the 9th week I would call them Contenders because, the way Tom Brady is playing is carrying this whole team and I doubt he will be on a tear like this for long before someone figures out that you can’t put a linebacker on his young talented tight ends.

Going into this week the Bills are 5-2 and Jets are 4-3along with the Patriots and the Giants are going into New England to prove that they are still the team to beat in the NFC East so with that being said I see the Patriots coming out of this one with a win but if the Eli Manning can beat the Patriots this game that will build up some good momentum for the Big Blue down the line.

The Patriots will be contenders as long as Tom Brady stays protected and as long as his weapons keep staying open the scary thing is they still haven’t used Ocho Cinco yet which will be even more of a problem in the future for their opponents.