FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Capturing the theme of Valentine’s Day, for those who had to decide 4 things to love about the New England Patriots getting into 2018, what would they be?
Just a few ideas:
Gilmore might need been greatest defender by season’s finish. The Patriots’ aggressive plunge into free company final offseason — particularly with a 5-12 months, $65 million deal for cornerback Stephon Gilmore — wasn’t wanting so scorching after 4 video games. Gilmore then missed three consecutive video games with a concussion. But the extra the tender-spoken Gilmore gained consolation within the group’s system, the extra the outcomes improved. The 27-year-outdated was enjoying his greatest soccer within the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LII.
Continuity on the teaching workers. Bill Belichick will probably be again for his 19th season in 2018, which is an efficient place to begin on what has been an necessary improvement over the previous week or so: Outside of defensive coordinator Matt Patricia’s departure to turn into Lions head coach, the Patriots aren’t main modifications on their teaching workers. Such stability is uncommon within the NFL, and there appeared to be a renewed power across the membership after offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ choice to stick round, which had a trickle-down impact on others.
Brady nonetheless slinging it at 40. How for much longer Tom Brady will probably be in a position to maintain off Father Time and play at an elite stage is of course a high query. Well, he couldn’t have completed the 2017 season/playoffs a lot stronger than he did, throwing for 505 yards in Super Bowl LII to spark a stage of confidence that he can proceed to elevate his efficiency as his age rises.
Amendola’s clutch efficiency within the playoffs. Wide receiver Danny Amendola, who has taken a pay lower every of the previous three years to return to the group, earned the nickname “Playoff ‘Dola” due to how he got here by means of in these conditions (26 catches for 348 yards and two touchdowns in three playoff video games this season). The 32-year-outdated is an unrestricted free agent getting into 2018, and so long as he needs to maintain enjoying, he’s an important piece for the group to re-signal. Amendola confirmed decisively that he nonetheless has it.
EXTRA POINT: Not a foul day to spotlight that the Patriots have defensive finish Trey Flowers and a strong core particular-groups participant in Marquis Flowers, with 2016 third-spherical decide Vincent Valentine working his manner again to presumably add depth at defensive deal with in 2018. Two Flowers and a Valentine match the theme of Feb. 14, which can also be the 46th birthday of Patriots Hall of Famer Drew Bledsoe.