Patriots Over/Under Win Odds 2021: Take the Over 9
The New England Patriots have drafted a new Quarterback and splashed the cash in Free Agency but will those things equate to more wins in 2021? Neil Monnery takes a look...
Winning in New England became a habit. Not one of those bad habits like always buying a candy bar when you pop out for a newspaper but one of those good habits like flossing that candy out of your teeth before you go to the dentist.
Then Tom Brady left and that habit was swiftly broken.
Losing a great Quarterback is never a good thing but when you have to move on from a player of such importance to the team and don’t have a clear plan then you are always going to struggle. When Indy moved on from Peyton Manning, they did it with the full knowledge that Andrew Luck was going to be their QB of not only the future but also the present. The Pats were left scrambling to see what would happen.
Cam Newton was ok last season but that was probably the highest praise you could give him. The offense spluttered throughout the campaign as he only threw for eight TDs to go along with ten picks. He did rush for 12 scores as well but still those numbers are not going to get it done in the newly competitive AFC East.
The Pats are likely to give the former #1 overall pick the nod to start the season but with the drafting of Alabama’s Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick, the future of the franchise is clearly being put in the hands of the guy who up until a day or so before the draft - was being tabbed to go at #3 overall to the 49ers.
Personally I really like Mac Jones as a Quarterback. He has a good arm and seems to decipher defenses quickly. That quick brain should play well in the Patriots’ offense long-term. He won the Davey O’Brien Award for the top QB in the nation and that 77.4 completion percentage is something that should excite Pats fans. They want an efficient offense and he’s the perfect man for that. How much he sees the field this year however is still a big question mark.
Bill Belichick was not shy in splashing the cash in Free Agency as they look to once more be at the forefront of discussions not only the AFC East but also the AFC itself. We all remember how they looked when Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were involved in those two Tight End sets. With the signing of Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry - everything seems to point to that returning as a significant part of the offense this season.
Neither Nelson Agholor or Kendrick Bourne are what you’d consider WR1 material but both are nice role players who can involve that room. N’Keal Harry needs to really step it up and I wouldn’t be stunned if they tried to find a way to add a true top-level receiver.
To get to the nine win mark - which is the number set they need their defense to be in the upper-echelons of the NFL. I did love the draft pick of Christian Barmore out of Alabama. A big strong Defensive Tackle who can really help with the run game.
The return of Kyle Van Noy is also a massive boost for a linebacking corps who struggled at times last season and of course the signing of Matthew Judon from the Baltimore Ravens means that unit - on paper at least - looks to be very, very good. That even overlooks the expected return of Dont’a Hightower, who sat out last season due to Covid-19 concerns.
I like the over nine wins here, which at time of writing is +145 with William Hill. Last year wasn’t great but a good Free Agency period coupled with some returns from Covid-19 hold-outs should make the Pats a borderline playoff team and that would mean more than nine wins on this 17 games season.