Keys to a New England Patriots Super Bowl victory
It feels like I could have written this blog for the Patriots five or six years ago and it would still hold true today. The New England Patriots are a well-oiled machine and are making the trip back to the Super Bowl in hopes of capturing back-to-back championships and six total.
They are a dynasty, regardless of the term, and Tom Brady is looking to cement his legacy as the greatest quarterback of all time. In addition, it’s a sort of changing of the guard for the Pats, as Josh McDaniels will leave after the season for Indianapolis, Matt Patricia will leave for Detroit, and there seemed to be a bit of a power struggle between Belichick, Brady, and Kraft. I think those rumors are overblown, but after all this success it may have gotten to everyone’s heads. Either way, here are the keys to a Pats Super Bowl victory:
Keep it simple, stupid
This goes without saying, but the Patriots have been pretty good in big games. Tom Brady is 27-9 in playoff games, and has five Super Bowl rings. Their only two losses came at the hands of Eli Manning and the Giants, but even when things aren’t looking good (and they haven’t in their last two Super Bowl appearances), the New England Patriots always find a way to win.
All New England has to do is play their game and stay calm under pressure. Mix in the run once in a while, throw some dump passes to James White, get Danny Amendola out in space and protect Tom Brady from getting beat up. It’s the formula this team has had success with for almost two decades, and they should continue it barring any setbacks.
Move Gronk around their formations
The biggest key to a Patriots victory is one that many NFL teams have been trying to figure out for years; Get the ball to Rob Gronkowski under any circumstances. McDaniels and Co. have had great success using Rob Gronkowski in different ways this season, and the Super Bowl should be no exception.
Gronkowski is such a key part of the Pats’ offense because he is a matchup nightmare. If the Pats put him out in the formation, he’s too big for a corner to cover on their own so they’ll need double coverage help. If the Pats put him in the slot or at the tight end position, a linebacker will have to deal with his athleticism. Both seem to be tall tasks for a great Eagles defense.
Create turnovers early and often
This seems to be an obvious one but if the Patriots can pick off Nick Foles early in the game they can have him in their back pocket for the rest of the Super Bowl. Unlike Tom Brady, Nick Foles is an inexperienced playoff quarterback who could be rattled easily if he has a turnover or two in the first quarter. In addition, the Patriots are very good at holding leads, even for a defensively inferior team. One Pick Six or fumble return for a touchdown to open up the game and it could be over before it starts.