Although their 2011-12 campaign came to a disappointing end in the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots kept themselves busy over the offseason making meticulous changes to their defense in hopes of a more fruitful postseason this time out. Early futures seem to suggest that the moves will work as the Pats lead the league with 11/2 NFL odds.
A pair of first-round draft picks will help shore up the at times woeful New England defense, a must for any XLVII success. In all but three games during the regular season last year, the Pats allowed over 20 points. Twenty-first overall draft pick Chandler Jones will see a considerable opportunity to contribute to the unit as defensive end while Dont’a Hightower fights for his own share of time as a rookie.
The additions of veterans Steve Gregory and Will Allen to the secondary should help a corps that struggled against the pass last season. Although their successful offense and ability to build big leads may have something to do with it, the Pats allowed a whopping 293.9 yards per game in 2011. It’s hard to top a betting line with figures like that.
Given the offense, and that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady seem poised to thrive so long as there are warm bodies around them, the defense in New England doesn’t have to be great. But if it can at least be good, then another 13-3 season (and perhaps an NFL odds payout) isn’t out of the question.
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