The New England Patriots have been the NFL’s most successful team over the past two decades, but they aren’t always the most talented.
There’s been no shortage of praise for Bill Belichick over the span of the Patriots’ dynastic run. New England’s head coach tends to always get the most out of everyone on his 53-man roster, as he’s turned quite a few role players into impact performers on Super Bowl-winning teams. There’s a good chance this will continue in the 2019 season, but make no mistake about it, the Pats are heading into the new campaign with a strong core of high-end talent.
This was reflected in Gil Brandt’s power rankings of the top 10 most talented teams ahead of the upcoming season. The reigning Super Bowl champions come in at No. 5, only behind the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams, respectively.
“There is no question that Bill Belichick and his staff do an excellent job making players look better than they are, covering up flaws and not putting them in position to fail,” Brandt wrote for NFL.com. “That said, New England’s success can’t be attributed only to game-planning. Stephon Gilmore has become arguably one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL since adjusting to the Patriots’ scheme, while Dont’a Hightower has proven himself to be a versatile linebacker and Devin McCourty is one of the better safeties around. There are few better slot receivers than Julian Edelman, while the backfield features Sony Michel, who is coming off a strong rookie season, and James White, an elite pass-catching back. Oh, and the quarterback isn’t too bad, either.”
Save for maybe tight end, New England’s roster, at least on paper, has all of its bases covered as the franchise readies for its latest title defense. The Patriots in all likelihood will endure their patented early-season struggles, but there’s no reason to believe Tom Brady, Belichick and Co. won’t be in the mix for the Lombardi Trophy once again in the 2019 season.