Once again, the New England Patriots are considered one of the top teams in the AFC heading into the 2016 NFL season. Tom Brady will miss the first four games of the regular season due to a suspension stemming from the Deflategate issue. Even without Brady, the Patriots should get off to a decent start.
It will be an entertaining start to the season to say the very least. There are plenty of talented squads in the AFC this season, and some teams are poised to make a big jump in the AFC East division. If the Patriots get off to a slow start, it could end up jeopardizing their chances to win the division.
Martellus Bennett was acquired by the Patriots from the Chicago Bears, as originally reported by ESPN.
New England has to be excited about the dual tight end threat that they have put together. Bennett will be joining New England’s superstar tight end, Rob Gronkowski, to help terrorize opposing defenses. He is, without question, the second option at the tight end position, which could end up being a huge help for him from a statistical standpoint.
Last season with the Bears, Bennett ended up catching 53 passes for 439 yards and three touchdowns. He was not utilized as much as he should have been by Jay Cutler and John Fox. It was a tough season for him to say the least, but his years of underproducing are behind him.
At 29-years-old, Bennett is ready to help both himself and the Patriots. Travis Pulver of Sports Information Traders wrote a column about Bennett being ready to help Gronkowski get an even bigger deal by taking some pressure off of his shoulders.
Needless to say, Bennett is ready for a fresh start with a team that is widely considered to be a Super Bowl contender. He may not end up racking up double digit touchdown numbers or 1,000 receiving yards, but he will end up being one of Brady’s favorite targets throughout the season.
There are still some question marks surrounding the Patriots heading into the season. They have to figure out who their starting running back should be, and they will also need their defense to take the next step as well.
Brady and Belichick only have a few more years left together. This could very well be the last chance that the team has to make a run at a championship with the two of them leading the way. If that is indeed the case, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them stun the NFL and make a run for another title.
Bennett may not be the piece that wins a championship for the Patriots, but he certainly helps. If New England can maximize his potential, they will have two of the league’s top tight ends.
All of that being said, the sky is the limit for the Patriots’ offense this season. They have put themselves in a position to outscore nearly every single team they face.
New England can compete with every single team in the NFL. There is no team good enough to beat the Patriots every time they meet. Assuming the Patriots play up to their full potential, they should be the team to beat in the AFC.
Expect to see Bennett step into a huge role immediately with the Patriots this season. He is going to put up star-caliber numbers and will help New England compete for yet another title.
Do you think that Martellus Bennett will break out and play like a star in 2016? Should the New England Patriots be viewed as serious Super Bowl contenders this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
[Photo by Steven Senne/AP Images]