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A bright spot- looking at the Pats relative to other contenders

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Ice_Ice_Brady, Jan 17, 2011.

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  1. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady In the Starting Line-Up

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    This thread could have been made whether we lost or not. We are obviously disappointed in this loss, but you might notice the remaining teams are filled with experienced veterans, particularly on defense. It really would have been a spectacular coup had the Patriots knocked off these experienced players en route to the Super Bowl. But there is a small silver lining here.

    We scoffed at the Jets for years, particularly while they felt short of expectations. However, the nucleus of their team was built with a lot of good draft picks: Harris, Revis, Mangold, Ferguson, Green, Keller. Let's remember that these players also went through growing pains, and they are now polished. But still, the Jets, like other teams, will have some major issues this offseason (let's assume free agency is normal.) If they sign a lot of their veteran players that were key to yesterday's win, they'll be gambling on age. They are not the only team.

    NYJ. The Jets have a laundry list of free agents. David Harris, Jason Taylor, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie, LaDainian Tomlinson, Shaun Ellis, Trevor Pryce, plus a plethora of other role players. Keep in mind that after yesterday's win, a lot of these guys have just seen their value skyrocket, particularly Cromartie and Holmes.

    Indianapolis. The Colts don't have a problem with free agency. Their problem is age. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are clearly the cornerstones of that defense, and they are both at/near age 30. They are entirely built on speed rushing, and you don't see a lot of these guys playing into old age. Gary Brackett is 30; not old, but no spring chicken. Dallas Clark is 31. Bob Sanders is 30 next month and his career is likely over. Jeff Saturday is 35. Reggie Wayne is 32- he probably has a few elite years left, but you can't really bet a lot of money on guys his age. Look at Randy Moss' decline from when he was 30 (2007) until now (almost 34.) Oh, and Peyton Manning is 35 in March. This is a lot of major contributors that are on the wrong side of an NFL player's peak. I think with the Super Bowl in Indianapolis next year, you'll one last major run.

    Pittsburgh. The Steelers have perhaps the smallest window, at least on defense. On offense, though, Hines Ward will be 35 in March. On defense, we're looking at a similar situation to the Pats a few years ago. Ryan Clark is 31; James Farrior is 36; Casey Hampton is 33; James Harrison will be 31 soon; Brett Keisel is 32; Aaron Smith is almost 35; both cornerbacks are over 29. The Steelers need to draft very well. This defense is good enough to overcome a few losses, but their rebuilding mode must begin very soon.

    Baltimore. The Ravens have a lot of veterans whose leadership helps the team, but many of them are also heading out of the league soon. On offense, Matt Birk is 34. Derrick Mason is 37 and might have one more season. Anquan Boldin is actually 30, and he is looks to be on the downside of his career (great move in avoiding that one.) On defense, two invaluable players are aging. Ray Lewis is 35, while Ed Reed is 32. While Reed doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon, Lewis does. Kelly Gregg is also 34.

    Looking at the Patriots roster, let's hope Brady has four or five good years left. The Pats have reloaded at an incredibly fast pace and you can expect our guys to improve into their primes; these other contenders will have to rebuild very soon, as the stars from the early to mid decade will start fading soon.
     
  2. niknarayanan

    niknarayanan Rookie

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    Well it all sounds good... But who's to say whats going to happen in the off-season (if it is normal)... We had a good run but a terribly dissapointing end... Lets see how it goes next year... Each team will make its own adjustments, not just us...
     
  3. Fball

    Fball Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Lots of new teams knocking on the door, though - KC, TN, Jax, Houston. It's been mainly Pitt, NE & Indy for a decade, but the balance of power seems set to shift in the next few years...
     
  4. PatsFanStnfrd

    PatsFanStnfrd Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    The loss yesterday especially against the Jets is obviously deeply disappointing. However, your larger point is well made. The Jets loaded up this past year for a playoff run. They haven't paid the piper -- their own free agents -- yet. They will have to make choices. Edwards and Holmes or one of them. Can they sign Cromartie who has a large family to feed. What about the others. The Jets do however have this player-centered coach who many players will leave some money on the table to play for especially if they go to the Super Bowl this year.

    The Pats have a tom of ammunition in this draft -- ammunition that BB will try to use wisely. Their 22 first and second year players will grow. Their injured vets will be back. So, if there is no lockout or truncated season to mess with, the possibilities are bright.......

    The Colts are getting older. And Manning is unsigned. Imagine if the Pats had finished this season with Brady to be named MVP and he had to be signed. Every other team has its own fair share of problems. No comfort on this day or this week, but as the winter wears on, a lot to look ahead to.....
     
  5. RhodyPatriot

    RhodyPatriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    Agree completely with your analysis.
    The Patriots are in very good shape to remain an annual threat to win the SB.
    The Jets better win it this year because their roster is a disaster waiting to happen. Going to make their losing next Sunday all the more sweet. ;)
    The Ravens D is getting old and Joe Flacco hasn't shown he can win in the playoffs.
    The Steelers like the Patriots will be really good for years to come.

    KC, TN, JAX and Houston will be not significant threats in the next few years.
    None have ready for primetime coaches/QB's in place.
     
  6. PatsFanStnfrd

    PatsFanStnfrd Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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  7. andrewgarrr

    andrewgarrr Banned

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    Unlike most of the other contenders in the league this year, NE is built for immediate future success. Pittsburgh has always built their franchise successfully through the draft. I don't expect them to go away. However, I do expect that the Jets will have a hard time dealing with age and loss of players to free agency. I think the Colts will be in for a long stretch of losing once Manning is in decline (see Marino and MIA). I think Baltimore's offense is not very good, and they are losing lots of key defensive players to age - but I still expect them to compete well next year.
     
  8. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    A HR or 2 on an O-Line pick and we're in great shape.

    A pass rusher would be the cherry on the ice cream.
     
  9. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Believe me, I know what I am about to type is MINUSCULE consolation. But with the jesters having trading a #2 for Cromartie and us now drafting ahead of them, when they make their second draft pick in April we will already have drafted 6 players. Of course that assumes we keep and use the current picks but our draft day trades usually only benefit our draft situation. I'd give up some to be playing next week, of course, but it's still a very small reason to be happy going forward.
     
  10. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think it's time to go balls-in and just draft all the best players we can, especially with the labor situation. Teams might not be able to sign free agents until a week before the eventual season.
     
  11. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    Ty Law knows what he's talking about when it comes to youth, not some of the crybabies on this forum.

    I think the Colts and Steelers are going to be the competition in future years--not sure about the Chargers. I would pick them maybe.

    Not worried about the Jets, KC or anyone else. Steelers have a lot of young talent. The Colts D really came together and they just need to plug some more holes. Put collie and Clark back there with a new O-line that can give Peyton time, and they will be very formidable.

    I can't stress this enough: the Patriots need a freaking pass rusher or two.
     
  12. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Agreed, I guess I would trade our #2 for a 2012 #1 if the opportunity arose but with these 6 premium picks I'd use them all. We still need a DE (two if Warren isn't expected back 100%), an OLB, about 3 OL and could use a WR, CB or S with some upside. We have plenty of places to use those picks.
     
  13. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

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    On top of that, there will be a salary cap for the 2011 NFL Season. Cheaper to draft players than to sign quality free agents.
     
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