New England Patriots: 5 Potential Surprise Heroes
While The NFL is still sidestepping and tripping over itself with the “Deflategate” issue, the New England Patriots are planning to play a Super Bowl game against Seattle Sunday night.
It would appear the off-field issues and strife are just an aggravating mosquito in the team’s plans to win a fourth title since 2001.
Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com wrote this week that the NFL is conducting a "serious" and "thorough" investigation into the deflation of footballs in the AFC Championship Game, commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday, but there have been "no judgments made" against the New England Patriots or any of their employees.
The league previously announced that 11 of the Patriots' 12 game footballs were found at halftime to be below the league's mandate of 12.5 psi. Ted Wells, the NFL's outside investigator, is attempting to determine why the balls were used in the first half and if it was "the result of deliberate action," Goodell said.
If you look at everything the Patriots are doing, the comments made by the NFL or Goodell or media are the furthest thing from their minds.
New England will use its primary weapons to attack an ailing Seattle secondary and hopefully wear down the Seahawks offense with their underappreciated defense. The media and fans are ready to see fireworks from the likes of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and potentially, Darrelle Revis. But there is a possibility other Patriots players could make a major impact in this game.
Here is a look at five players who could steal the show.
He is probably not characterized as a “sleeper” star with this team, but he has at times been underproductive. Seattle will look to isolate Julian Edelman and Brandon LeFell on the outside, which could open up the middle of the field for Amendola, who could finally show his true value since he came over from St. Louis.
I just want to hear the announce team say his name a couple of times. Sure, “Gronk” will get plenty of touches, but Hoomanawanui has real value in this offense. Don’t be surprised if the team looks to him on short distance sets and on third down to move the chains.
The third back in the Patriots offense. He started for the team this season and could be a sleeper to move the chains through the middle. Don’t expect the Patriots to move the ball all the time during the game, but when they do, Josh McDaniels will use a combination of runners to beat the Seattle front line up.
Arrington is kind of a forgotten man in the Patriots secondary rotation. But since Revis and Brandon Browner get all the attention to cornerback, could Arrington steal the show and make a key tackle or interception?
THE ASSISTANT COACHES
When the Patriots last won the Super Bowl in 2004, there was a sideline shot of Bill Belichick, Charlie Weis and Romeo Crenel all hugging and smiling on the sideline. It was the last time the three were together with the organization.
This time, Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia could be the difference in a game expected to be the closest game ever, start to finish.