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New England Patriots 2013 Season Review

Despite all of the off-season departures and injuries throughout the season, the New England Patriots still managed to finish 12-4 and champions of the AFC East for the fifth consecutive year. While the season ended with a loss in the AFC Championship to the Denver Broncos, the Patriots maximized their talent and were better than some expected. Here are the positives and negatives of the 2013 season and the things the teams needs to improve for 2014.

Positives:  Tom Brady was again was the Patriots’ offensive MVP. The team lost Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez during last off-season and Rob Gronkowski was injured most of the 2013 season, but Brady still found a way to lead this team to the AFC Championship.  Brady threw for 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns despite the lack of weapons and  the offensive line giving up 40 sacks on the season. Brady had to do more with less because of the lack of weapons on the offense, but still found a way to win 12 games. Without Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots would not have played in AFC Conference Championship.

Negatives: If I had to sum up the biggest negative for the 2013 season for the Patriots in one word , it would be “injuries.”  The Patriots signed receiver Danny Amendola thinking he could be a younger version of Wes Welker. But much like his career with the St. Louis Rams, he was again riddled by injuries. Amendola played in 12 games, and finished the season with only two touchdowns and 633 yards receiving. The Patriots knew there was a risk to signing Amendola, but even they had to expect more production from him.

Not only did the injuries affect Gronkowski and Amendola’s seasons, it also affected more of the Patriots top stars. The team suffered season-ending injuries to defensive tackles Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, linebacker Jerod Mayo and Sebastian Vollmer. Wilfork’s injury was probably the biggest defensively because not only did the Patriots lose a five-time Pro Bowler, the team lost arguably their second most important player after Tom Brady.

Top Priorities this off-season:  Patriots have to find a way to re-sign cornerback Aqib Talib. He probably had his best season as a pro as Talib recorded four interceptions in his first four games, and finished the season with 35 tackles and broke up 13 passes. Talib also was selected to his first Pro Bowl, but wasn’t able to play because of an injury in the AFC Championship.

Next priority is the Patriots have to get more weapons around Brady. Yes he can still carry an offense, but Brady will be 37 when the season starts and there’s no telling how many years he can carry their offense. Expect the Patriots to draft a tight end and/or wide receiver in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft.

 

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