Why the 2019 New England Patriots Will Be Even Better Than Their 2018 Counterparts

2019 New England Patriots

The New England Patriots once again are the envy of the entire NFL. For the third time in five years, New England finished their season hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. However, despite winning Super Bowl LIII, the 2018 season showed a few chinks in New England’s armor. The 2018 Patriots finished with an 11-5 record, their worst since the 2009 season. Additionally, 41-year old quarterback Tom Brady had his worst season since 2013. With these early warning signs, some may predict that the 2019 New England Patriots will suffer a drop off in success from 2018.

However, the exact opposite is true. The 2019 New England Patriots should only improve on last year’s success. This isn’t to say they’ll win Super Bowl LIV, but the Patriots should be an even more complete team in 2019 than they were in 2018.

2019 New England Patriots Should Be Even Better Than 2018 Patriots

Influx Of Young Talent

The best way to support a 42-year old quarterback is by surrounding him with a young, talented roster. Fortunately, New England is in perfect position to build and develop a new core of Patriots to help bring in even more championships.

Thanks to prior trades with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, the Patriots enter the NFL Draft with four picks in the first three rounds. Additionally, New England should receive two additional third-round compensation picks for the free agent departures of Nate Solder and Malcolm Butler. While these exact pick numbers have yet to be determined, New England should enter the 2019 NFL Draft with six selections likely in the top-100.

This won’t just be a top-heavy draft for New England, as they also have several late-round picks to bolster their depth. New England currently has a fourth-round pick and three seventh-round picks but should add another fifth-rounder and seventh-rounder in compensatory picks.

In all, the Patriots enter the 2019 NFL Draft with 12 expected draft selections, including six in the first three rounds. Outside of the Oakland Raiders, nobody has better draft capital than the defending world champs. Ideally, the Patriots will re-sign Trey Flowers and won’t need to draft based on need. However, should Flowers bolt, New England has the draft capital to select his successor and still build a competitive roster. Championships are built on drafts like this, and New England could continue their unprecedented run of success thanks to this draft class.

Getting Another Draft Class Back

Not only do the Patriots have fantastic draft capital in 2019, but they’re also getting their entire 2018 draft class back on the field. New England’s 2018 draft class suffered a ridiculous amount of bad injury luck, forcing most of the class to miss the majority of the 2018 season. Of the Patriots’ nine draft selections, only seventh-round pick Keion Crossen made it through the season without suffering a significant injury.

It’s worth noting that the 2018 draft class, by and large, put up great film when they were on the field. Running back Sony Michel battled a knee injury throughout his rookie season, but still managed to finish 2018 with 931 yards and six touchdowns on 209 carries. Michel added to his promising campaign by taking his play to another level in the postseason. Over the course of three playoff games, Michel recorded 336 yards and a staggering six touchdowns, including the game-winning score in Super Bowl LIII. After one year, it looks like New England found their running back of the future.

Additionally, fifth-round linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley looked like the steal of the 2018 draft in his short time on the field. The rookie linebacker was the star of the preseason and continued that high-level play into the regular season. Bentley was arguably New England’s best linebacker before suffering a season-ending injury in Week Three against the Detroit Lions. With Bentley now healthy, the linebacker trio of Bentley, Kyle Van Noy, and Dont’a Hightower has the potential to be one of the best in the league.

On top of that, the Patriots are also getting their top pick back onto the field. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn missed the entirety of his rookie season after tearing his Achilles in the preseason. The 6’2”, 311-pound lineman should be healthy for the start of the 2018 season and will only help bolster one of the top offensive lines in football. With Trent Brown a free agent, Wynn could immediate slide into the left tackle role and serve as the blindside protector of the future.

These are the three biggest names, but they’re not the only players with potential returning to the lineup. Wide receiver Braxton Berrios has the skillset to be New England’s next great slot receiver, although he may not reach that ceiling. Meanwhile, seventh-round pick Ryan Izzo is already ready to contribute as New England’s run blocking tight end. Had Izzo not suffered a season-ending ankle injury prior to the start of the season, he very well could have beat out Dwayne Allen for the role last year.

Tom Brady Will Be Better

Most quarterbacks don’t improve when they reach their age-42 season, but most quarterbacks aren’t Tom Brady. Brady had his worst season in quite some time during 2018, finishing the year with 4,355 yards, 29 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a 97.7 passer rating. The yardage, touchdowns, and interceptions were his worst in a full season since 2013, and his passer rating was the worst since 2014.

First off, let’s establish these are still good numbers. If this is a decline, then a good two-thirds of quarterbacks would love to be in decline. However, this was a down season by Brady’s standards, but he should bounce back in 2019. While age may have slowed him down a little, most of his statistical decline is due to forces outside of Brady’s control.

We already broke down that, of Brady’s 11 interceptions, he was only really at fault for four or five. Brady had a ridiculous amount of bad luck throughout the season, and that should stabilize in 2019. Additionally, Brady had a constantly-rotating support cast which did the quarterback no favors. Julian Edelman missed the first month of the season, Josh Gordon came and went, and the trio of Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, and Cordarrelle Patterson are better served as role players than featured parts of the offense. Factor in a hobbled Rob Gronkowski, and Brady simply didn’t have many options in the passing game.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Brady spent the second half of the season playing on a sprained MCL. Knee injuries are obviously difficult to play through, and the results of the injury showed up on the field. Brady consistently ducked away from big hits and got the ball out early in an effort to preserve his body. Put simply, this knee injury made his a worse quarterback.

Injuries can always strike at a moment’s notice, but Brady’s 2018 knee injury came in a way that certainly won’t be repeated. For some inexplicable reason, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels called a double-pass to Brady late in New England’s 34-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans. 41-year old quarterbacks shouldn’t be trying to catch passes, and Brady suffered the knee injury on the ensuing tackle. McDaniels has likely tossed that play out of the playbook, meaning that Brady won’t be in harm’s way as a receiver. He could still get hurt, but his chances are minimized.

Last Word on the 2019 New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are world champions, and they’re only going to get better. 2018 was a transition year, as an injured draft class and a decimated wide receiver core gave the league a chance to knock the Patriots down. Instead, they won the Super Bowl and are in a position to significantly improve.

The Patriots have 12 picks in the upcoming NFL Draft, including six in the first three rounds. These are the types of drafts you build a dynasty around, and Bill Belichick and company have the perfect opportunity to restock the roster. Additionally, New England is getting essentially their entire 2018 draft class healthy and back on the field. 2019’s roster should have the best young talent this team has had in years.

Most importantly, quarterback Tom Brady should improve on his 2018 performance in 2019. The 41-year old quarterback played well in 2018 but had a down year relative to his normal standards. Fortunately, most of his struggles were caused by a poor situation around him, rather than the natural effects of age. Brady’s supporting cast will be more stable in 2019, which will lead to an uptick in production. He might not look like his 2016 or 2017 self, but he still has the skills to be a top-three quarterback in the league.

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4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. 1. I’m all in on this Kool-aide, especially given it’s being poured by a pretty neutral source.
    2. While I’d love to keep Brown AND Flowers, it doesn’t seem viable. We’ll see soon enough. After reading this article, I am feeling less doomed if we lose Flowers. I am reminded of all of our weirdo pre-season injuries and how we came out just fine. Just hope our new coaching staff is as omniscient as last season’s crew. But we do have our chief Pirate!
    3. This year the draft is going to be very very very interesting! Like scary potential!
    4. What can we do to make sure the Tommy-you go catch the ball play is GONE FOREVAH??

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