It’s easy for the naysayers, the critics, the doom and gloom types, to make a case that the end is near for the New England Patriots as an NFL power.
They have, after all, won just once in the past 11 Super Bowls but on the other hand, the Patriots have appeared in three Super Bowls in that span, tied with the Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers for the most appearances over that time span.
It could merely be nothing more than wishful thinking by New England’s frazzled rivals to suggest that the Patriots are slowing down, because those who make their living seeing the future – sportsbooks – all envision the Patriots as the team to beat during the 2016 NFL season.
Bovada lists the Patriots as +350 favorites to win the AFC Championship and New England are also their Super Bowl pick at +600. TopBet is also on board with the Patriots as the NFL’s best, listing them at +650 to win the Super Bowl and +300 to earn the AFC crown. GTBets is another sportsbook on the New England bandwagon, liking the Patriots at +650 to win Super Bowl XLI and at +375 to be the AFC representative in the big game.
There’s little not to like about the Patriots. New England is on the verge of NFL history as the 2016 regular-season campaign approaches.
The 2015 season was the 15th straight winning year for the Patriots and another winning season in 2016 will tie New England with the 1970-85 Dallas Cowboys and the 1983-98 San Francisco 49ers as the longest consecutive stretch of winning years since the 1970 NFL merger.
Only the Cowboys, with 20 from 1966-85, own a longer stretch of winning seasons in NFL history.
Consistency is New England’s trademark. The Patriots are the lone NFL team to post 15 winning seasons since the league introduced free agency in 1993. New England’s 30 winning campaigns are second only to the 32 posted by the Steelers since the 1970 NFL merger.
The Patriots are also the only NFL team to win at least nine games in every season since 2001. New England has reached double digits in wins for 13 successive seasons, trailing only the 1983-98 49ers in this category in NFL history, so perhaps it’s no surprise that Bovada listed the over/under on wins by the Patriots for 2016 at 10½.
Quarterback Tom Brady may indeed be 38 but based on his numbers during the 2015 National Football League season, Brady isn’t getting older, he’s getting better.
His 402 completions were a career high. His completion percentage (64.4), touchdown passes (36) and quarterback rating (102.2) were his best since 2011. GTBets lists Brady as their fifth choice for 2016 NFL MVP at -800.
As long as Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are in place, it would be foolish to count out the Patriots. Since this dynamic duo was united in 2000, they’ve made the most appearances by a coach-QB tandem (six) in Super Bowl history, the first and most recent time separated by an amazing 14 years.
Just remember that Brady is still suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season. We don’t, however, think this will derail a team with such experience and pedigree.
Under Belichick, the Patriots have assembled the longest winning streak in NFL history (21 games), posted an NFL-record 126 wins in a decade between 2003-12 and won 13 AFC East titles.
Not surprisingly, all the major sportsbooks are picking the Patriots to continue their divisional dominance. Both TopBet and Bovada list the Patriots at -210 to win the AFC East Division, while GTBets has them at -240.
The keynote to why the Patriots continue to rule the NFL can be simply unearthed by analyzing their current run of seven straight AFC East crowns.
While Brady remains an ever-present under center, during this stay on the top he’s handed the ball off to five different leading rushers (Laurence Maroney, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Stevan Riley, Jonas Gray and LeGarrette Blount) and thrown to three different leading receivers (Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman).
The true heroes of New England’s dominance are the people behind the scenes who work in player personnel and scouting, the sharp football minds who continue to unearth the talent that will keep the ball rolling.
If you’re not picking the Patriots, it’s probably because you don’t like them. And if you are picking the Patriots, what are you waiting for?
It’s time to get in on the action.
Have a look at who the New England Patriots play next, scan their entire schedule, find out the best betting lines for every Patriots game and heed some tips on how to make more money from your Patriots bets.
Odds To Win AFC East
New England Patriots: -210
Buffalo Bills: +525
New York Jets: +525