Earlier I was asked a few questions by Musket Fire, FanSided’s NE Patriots blog. Now it’s our turn to ask the questions – here is what they said about tonights all too familiar foe:
1. Tom Brady obviously wants to get some time this week against the Giants, and Bill Belichick played your #1’s for a couple series last year in the finale. How much time are the Patriots going to give to their starters tonight?
I think the starters will play, but likely only for a series or two. If Tom Brady drives the offense down for a touchdown on the first drive, his night will likely be done. There will be some starters that could see extended time, like safeties Brandon Meriweather and Patrick Chung.
2. Are Patriots fans over Superbowl 42, or is this game still pretty meaningful?
Well I was until you brought it up! I don’t think it is in Patriots fans’ minds unless they have to relive the experience. It does come up at times when talking about how the Patriots haven’t won in the playoffs since then, but other than that I think most are over it. At least I’m over it, but my best friend in college was a Giants fan so I grew to not dislike the Giants.
3. Patriots and Jets — who wins the division this year between these two teams?
I still think that the division is the Patriots’ to lose. If the Pats can at least split the two games against the Jets, they stand a good chance at winning the division. I see the Patriots as a much improved team this year over last year, at least on paper, whereas the Jets are about where they were last year.
4. What more than anything has been the Patriots offseason focus this year? Have they accomplished their goals?
The Patriots definitely wanted to improve their defense, which was last in the NFL at getting off the field on third down. It’s evident that it was the main focus of Bill Belichick, as the scheme has changed from three to four down linemen and has been much more attacking, at least in the preseason. It’s tough to say if they accomplished their goals until the regular season gets underway, but the preseason has shown a better pass rush and a defense that can get off the field on third down.
5. Prediction for the Patriots season?
I’m thinking the Patriots go 12-4 this season. They have a tough schedule, so expecting a repeat of last year’s 14-2 is a stretch. I think the team will be better while its record may not reflect that.
6. Prediction for tonights game, what can we look to see from the Patriots?
This is the final shot at making the team, or any NFL team for that matter, for a lot of players. I expect to see more spirited play from both sides as jobs are on the line. The final score doesn’t really matter, but I think after last week’s abysmal performance, the Pats will pull out a late victory tonight, 24-21 to end on a positive note.