The Road to Super Bowl 52 Goes Through New England
The New England Patriots are a heavy favorite to reach their third Super Bowl in four seasons.
Updated: Aug. 14, 2017 • 2:49 PM ET
Tom Brady is looking to win his sixth Super Bowl ring.
The NFL’s preseason is here, and the hype train for the regular season has already left the station.
The new season kicked off with the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys facing off in the annual Hall of Fame Game earlier this month, and although the contest was meaningless in the long run, it symbolized that football was officially back.
Since the 2017 NFL Draft in April, pundits have pumped out opinions, examining and speculating various players and teams. What should surprise no one is that the New England Patriots, once again, have been listed as favorites to not only appear in Super Bowl 52 but win it.
And why shouldn’t they be?
Even with Tom Brady’s four-game suspension last season, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his team pulled out three wins during Brady’s hiatus. Their only loss in that span came in Week 4 last season when they were forced to start third string quarterback Jacoby Brissett against the Buffalo Bills. What’s even more amazing than the Patriots’ start of the season was their finish, when they came back from down 28-3 to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51.
So, heading into the upcoming season, is there any doubt that the Patriots should be the favorite to win Super Bowl 52?
Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, and although he turned 40 earlier this month, last year showed that he hasn’t lost a beat when it comes to playing the position. Wideouts Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman return to the slots this season, along with tight end Rob Gronkowski, who missed most of last season with a back injury. Adding to their talent, the Patriots made a key trade in the offseason to obtain former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks, which should allow New England to have the most dangerous passing game in the league.
LeGarrette Blount, who led the Patriots to a top 10 rushing offense last season, has departed New England — the Patriots have to look elsewhere to fill his void. Though Dion Less and James White return this season, New England added two more running backs in Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead in the offseason.
The Patriots potentially have one of the best, if not the best offense going into the 2017-18 season. But even though their offense gets most of the attention, much of their success from last year can be attributed to the play of their top 10 defense. Similar to the offense returning a few key pieces, the Patriots re-signed Pro Bowlers and defensive standouts Malcom Butler and Dont’a Hightower this offseason.
Undoubtedly, the road to Super Bowl 52 will go through Foxborough.