Three reasons why the Patriots can win it all this year
With playoff football on the horizon, it’s Super Bowl or bust for all 12 teams. FOX Sports NFL insider Alex Marvez gives three reasons why each team will win the Super Bowl XLIX.
Home-field advantage: The Patriots are a far more formidable foe at Gillette Stadium than on the road, which is where three of the team’s four losses were suffered during the regular season. Thanks to being the AFC’s No. 1 seed, New England won’t be playing outside Foxboro again unless it’s in Super Bowl 49.
An upgraded secondary: The addition of Darrelle Revis has given New England a shutdown cornerback who can negate an opposing team’s top receiving threat. At 6-foot-4 with speed, cornerback Brandon Browner can physically handle tight ends as well as keep pace with fleet wideouts. Effectively mixing coverage schemes with Revis and Browner helped the Patriots post regular-season victories against three AFC quarterbacks (Denver’s Peyton Manning, Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck and Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton) whom they may face again in the playoffs.
Gronk is healthy: Finally recovered from forearm and knee injuries that maligned him the previous two seasons, tight end Rob Gronkowski has once again become a matchup nightmare for defenses. He is so valuable that Patriots coach Bill Belichick wouldn’t risk Gronkowski getting hurt last Sunday against Buffalo. Gronkowski was the team’s only healthy scratch, being declared inactive even though he never appeared on pregame injury reports. Even in 15 games, Gronkowski still led all NFL tight ends with 1,124 yards on 82 receptions. His underrated blocking helps in the running game as well.