September 27, 2016

Five Predictions For The 2010 Patriots

By Bruce Allen, Patriots Daily Staff

Are you ready for some football? The season finally gets started for real this afternoon at 1:00pm. (CBS) Check back here in the Twitter box for thoughts and observations as the game goes along.

In the meantime, check out five fearless predictions for the 2010 Patriots.

1) The Defense Will Get Better As The Season Goes Along.

The number one concern people have with the Patriots is the defense, specifically against the pass. Don’t be shocked if they struggle mightily in the early going. New England is likely going to have to win some shootouts until the defense can hit its stride.

This is a very young defense, and there will need to be considerable learning on the job throughout the year, at all spots – defensive line, linebackers and the secondary. I think a big reason that James Sanders is still here is the lack of experience on the defensive side of the ball. As Thanksgiving approaches though, look for the mistakes to lessen, and the overall defense to tighten up as guys get used to their assignments and comfortable playing with one another.

2) Tom Brady Will Throw 35 TD Passes

Look For A Big Year In 2010 For Tom Brady

It won’t be 2007, but this offense will be very, very good as long as they can keep Brady upright. He’s going to have more targets this season, after having had to put Sam Aiken on the field as a third receiver at times last year, this season Brady has targets at tight end, but also more receivers in Edelman, Tate and Price.

The running game is still suspect inside the Red Zone, so the Patriots gave Brady big new targets in Rob Gronkowski and Alge Crumpler just for this purpose. Look for Brady to target those big tight ends a ton while inside the 20.

3) Brandon Tate Will Be Electric As A Kick Returner

Watching some games from the 2003 season, I’m always amazed at what a weapon a kick returner like Bethel Johnson was at times. In the Indianapolis game that season, Johnson brought back a kick for a TD immediately after a Colts TD, and nearly did it two other times, giving the Patriots a short field. Ellis Hobbs was their last decent kick returner and they had no one with a chance to break one last season. Second year receiver Brandon Tate showed his stuff with a return for a TD in the preseason, and was incredible in college. He’s going to make an impact on special teams this season.

4) Shawn Crable Will Find His Way Onto The Field At Some Point.

The 2008 third round pick has been a bust. On IR his first two seasons, Crable showed up for camp unable to pass the conditioning test, and was waived before camp even began. After cutdowns this past weekend, the Patriots signed Crable to the practice squad. Hopefully the message sunk in to the former Michigan linebacker, who has the physical tools that Bill Belichick covets in his outside linebackers. I think he will find his way onto the active roster sometime this season, and get into a game. That’s all I’m predicting for him at this point.

5) Logan Mankins will be traded for a second round pick.

I can’t see Mankins coming back before week ten, and I can’t imagine the Patriots allowing him to just show up then and put in the time he needs to accrue another season and get to unrestricted free agency. Something will happen, and I don’t think either side with cave on the contract end of things. I think sometime before the trade deadline the Patriots will trade Mankins away for a second round pick.

Comments

  1. All sensible predictions Bruce.

    The Patriots are currently 4 deep at OLB/DE, and despite Cunningham’s gimpiness I think the Pats defense, like most others in a pass-happy trending league, will only be in a base 3-4 ~50% of the time. So there would need to be many more injuries at OLB/DE for Crable to get called up.

    I think the Patriots have Mankins valued higher than a second rounder. They received first and second round picks for Branch and Cassel, who were second and seventh round picks, respectively. I just don’t see them taking a loss on Mankins, no matter how bitter the situation. Ideal scenario: with Brady extended, they work on extending Moss/Welker and signing Mankins (which, admittedly, would tie up a lot of cap money in the offense, not unlike the mid-2000s Colts). Worst case scenario: Mankins shows up week 10 (provided the Patriots agree either to trade or not franchise him in 2011) and gives the running game a boost as the cold weather/playoff stretch approaches.

  2. My predictions. Moss will not be extended. He’s been totally ineffective in big games so sayonara. Welker is a toss up. The way he takes all that punishment game in and game out makes his future very iffy. Mankins is adios.
    As for the season I go by the axiom that history repeats itself. And in that regard this year is the 50th anniversary of the Eagles winning the championship beating the great Green Bay Packers. And they did it with a very mediocre team. What they had was one of the great all time QB’s in Norm Van Brocklin. So look for a championship year from the Pats under the direction of another great QB but with a very very mediocre cast of characters around him.

  3. I hope they do trade Mankins, but not for a pick. Unfortunately, the NFL never has midseason player for player movement. I would love to see Mankins swapped for an effective LB. I can’t wait for the game today so we can see finally if this D sucks as bad as they seem or they surprise us all.

  4. My one (humble) prediction: At some point Zoltan will muff a punt or two and either costing the Patriots a game or coming close. This will ignite a media frenzy about possibly bringing in a veteran to “light a fire” under him. And, of course, Belichick was crazy and/or stupid to not have any competition in training camp. And within three years Zoltan will be widely acknowledge as being the best punter in football which will make the local mediots regret having their words archived, revealing them to be nothing more than tinder tools for their grammatically and annunciatingly challenged fan-base. But hey, go get ‘em tigers – anything to call Belichick stupid (as all eyes turn and look at Felger).

    Looks like #3 above is happening. Would love to see #4 happen but I’m very skeptical.

  5. I agree with Lance when he says “At some point Zoltan will muff a punt or two and either costing the Patriots a game or coming close.”

    Speaking of punting, have you seen the Punt Peyton game? I wish it were real.

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