With all of the turnover that occurred on offense, the Pats must rely on their defense this upcoming season.
As the New England Patriots were going through the 2019 NFL season as the defending world champions, something just did not seem right about their offense. Without star tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Pats passing game struggled with an aging Tom Brady under center who looked nothing like the amazing quarterback he had been in the past.
New England ended up finishing 15th in total offense at the end of the season, which came to a close with them getting bounced unceremoniously against the Titans in a Wild Card matchup.
Despite all the offensive woes that held the Pats back last year, their defense was absolutely stellar, ending the season ranked as the best defense in the league. On top of that, cornerback Stephon Gilmore went home with the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award for his lockdown coverage.
Now as the Patriots look to 2020 with a brand new offense that certainly lacks star power, explosiveness, and stability at the quarterback position, Bill Belichick and his staff will be looking to the defense to continue carrying the team to victory.
Stalwarts such as Gilmore, along with Dont’a Hightower and Devin McCourty, will be leading a very talented Pats defense
From the great defense that New England put out on the field last year, the only notable players who will not be returning in 2020 are linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins, who both signed with different squads during free agency.
This means New England will return an amazing secondary, that includes Gilmore, the McCourty twins, and Patrick Chung.
In terms of their defensive line and linebacking core, the Pats will again have Hightower and Adam Butler who were both top-5 on the team in total sacks, along with Chase Winovich, John Simon, and Lawrence Guy, who all recorded sacks as well.
In addition to all the returning talent, the Patriots’ second-round draft pick, linebacker Josh Uche from Michigan, is an incredibly gifted pass rusher who can make trouble for NFL quarterbacks right away.
With the New England offense being a giant question mark, especially in terms of who will end up replacing Brady, the Pats must again rely on their defense to perform like it did last season in order to have a chance to return to the playoffs.