Tonight the Boston Patriots will take the field to open the 2009 season and for Patriots fans they will be hoping this season will be a throwback in more ways than one. After an 11-5 season, without Tom Brady or a playoff appearance there is a sense in New England that it is now or never for the club. It has been five years since the team won a Super Bowl. The Patriot way once built upon stingy defense and an opportunistic offense has seen a complete role reversal. The Patriots that take the field tonight will be successful or not based on their offensive production. Gone are many of the familiar names on defense, in their wake the Patriots have proven perfomers surrounded for the most part by no names. For every Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo there is Patrick Chung and Myron Pyror. It has worked in the past for Belichick and co. but their is no question that their weakness in the secondary cost them a playoff berth last season. Here's a remarkable fact for you the Patriots defense tonight will feature only four players who started Super Bowl XLII against the Giants.
The big story tonight an probably for the whole season will be the return of Tom Brady. The 2007 NFL MVP threw for just 86 yards last year before going down for the season early in the second quarter. After the preseason there is no question that he will be effective, but there is a big difference between good 'ole Tom and just effective. In the preseason at times his footwork was a little shaky causing some poor throws, in addition his shoulder injury suffered in Washington figures to not help matters much. But the Patriots offense is at its best when they are quick to the line and effective with their spread offense. If Brady and the offense can keep defenses off balance then Brady should have a definite advantage in getting back to the swing of things.
Of course tonight the Patriots face off against their division rivals, the Buffalo Bills, with the Terrell Owens show in tow. I expect the Patriots to come out sharp this evening. All Preseason Bill Belichick has been pushing this team hard, tonight it all pays off. It's hard to imagine a team that fired their offensive coordinator two weeks before opening day will be able to hang with the highly motivated Patriots.
Patriots 34 Bills 13
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Written by Nich Hall