Patriots Offseason: Wide Receiver

20120214-141405.jpgThe Patriots passing attack primarily was not an issue this year. As long as Tom Brady has the reigns of this Patriots offense the passing attack will never be the primary concern. At the same time it is also clear that the Patriots miss the deep threat they had back when Randy Moss would be consistently torching opposing safeties. I expect the Pats to address the receiver position through either free agency or the draft. The Pats will more than likely bring back Wes Welker, but after Welker there are no guarantees. Deion Branch is a free agent and I see that one as a 50/50 as to if he will return. Branch will not require too much of a salary so I would think it would be a good option. With the Patriots having the best possession receiver, and two of the best tight ends in football its hard to imagine it would require much more than a deep threat to bring this offense back to the way it was in past seasons. It’s always very hard to predict the Patriots offseason moves, but some of the options may include:

Randy Moss: This almost seems unrealistic, but we all know Moss loved being here and Belichick has no problem dealing with difficult personalities. Moss, 35, is still probably one of the best deep field threats in the game.

Reggie Wayne: I don’t exactly see this being the ideal fit in New England, but if the Pat’s lose Branch it is certainly a viable option as I see them being a similar type of receiver.

Brandon Lloyd: Lloyd is more of what the Patriots need. His big play ability will keep safeties back a few more yards, which could make the Patriots underneath passing game one of the best ever.

Robert Meachem: Possesses good speed and could be a good fit alongside Welker in this Patriots offense.

Ted Ginn: Certainly will not be the completion to the puzzle as a receiver but with Ginn’s versatility and elite speed he could be a great fit in New England.


Patriots vs. Giants: Wide Receivers

Only four more days… damn the anticipation is killing me. Today we will take a lot at the Wide Receivers for both the Giants and the Patriots.

The Giants wide receivers have come alive this year in a way not to many expected. Victor Cruz, a Umass Amherst Alumni was one of the top receivers in the league this year and his stats certainly illustrate that. Having him next to Hakeem Nicks, and Mario Manningham is quite the trio. Some receivers in the NFL only produce when paired up with a top-tier quarterback. This isn’t the case with these Giants receivers. These guys possess pure talent. Cruz is a deep touchdown waiting to happen and Hakeem Nicks is a matchup nightmare with his size and speed combination. Eli is a great quarterback, but it doesn’t hurt when you have the options he has. It is going to be quite the assignment for the Patriots secondary to even slow down this receiver core.

Overall Grade: A20120202-111508.jpg

The Patriots receivers are certainly above average, but I feel as though they fall into the category noted above: Top tier quarterbacks can craft an average receiver to fall into the elite category. Wes Welker is obviously a stud in this offense, but is he as valuable talent wise in another offense? We all saw what Deion Branch did without Brady. As far as Ochocinco goes… well I have nothing to say about that. Yes the Patriots have an elite passing attack and that is undeniable, but a lot of their offense goes through their dominant tight ends and not as much through the receivers like most teams. The Patriots receivers get the job done, but talent wise they do not match up with the Giants.

Overall Grade: B

Edge: Giants


Room for Improvement

In the NFL, it’s hard to criticize a team that’s first place in their division, looking at a first round bye in the playoffs. If you’re the Patriots, it comes with the territory. Winning isn’t enough. Perfection is the goal sought after. Bill would be the first to tell you that his team has yet to reach this state of excellence, despite their decade of dominance in the league. At 8-3 this year, you best believe the Pats have been under strict scrutiny. The secondary is horrible. Brady has shown signs of being human. Ochocinco was a bust. Blah, blah, blah. The hits just keep on coming.

Well let’s take a look at the facts. Kyle Arrington is leading the league in interceptions with seven and the Pats are actually tied 2nd overall in picks. Sure they’re ranked dead last in total defense and I agree they need to improve, but hey, we’ll take what we can get. Alright, so now Brady’s taking criticism? He leads the league in passing with 3,627 yards and is 2nd in passer rating and TD passes. Let’s be honest, Tom’s still nowhere near human. Ochocinco…alright ya got me.

Chad Ochocinco has been less than stellar for the Pats, to say the very least. I think he played more of a role in the win against the Eagles than he has all year. Not only did he not play, but word on the street is that Terrell Owens was on the Patriots sidelines at the beginning of the game. T.O. wants back and what better place than New England? The Pats have nothing to lose in at least taking a look at Owens. If he too is a bust, we get rid of him. The Patriot’s offense has been great with our young guns and Tom but add a deep threat into the mix…game over.