If you love em’ or hate em’ you have to give the New England Patriots credit for going out this offseason and making some monster moves that in my opinion quickly makes them the favorite to win the AFC in 2007. Last season New England’s defense was getting a little older, a little slower, and this offseason they got themselves the best free agent defensive player out there in linebacker Adalius Thomas.
Thomas is a stud that quickly makes the Pats defense dangerous once again. He has recorded more sacks over the last three seasons than any other linebacker in the league, and is sure to make some big plays as a member of the Pats D. He adds not only some play-making ability, but some much needed speed to the defense as well.
While the defense got an upgrade, the offense is really the thing that got the shot in the arm for the Pats. With the wide out core hurt with the departure of Deion Branch last season, the team really needed to upgrade in that department, and they did. The big pickup was former Saints and Eagles wide out Donte’ Stallworth, who last season hauled in 725 yards and five touchdowns. The other pickup was wide out Kelly Washington, who was underused with the Bengals over the past four seasons. Washington caught 72 passes for 893 yards and nine touchdowns in four seasons with Cincinnati.
New England was on the doorstep a season ago, losing in the AFC Title game in Indianapolis to the Colts after holding a 21-3 lead in the second quarter. Now with making agressive moves and grabbing some top free agents, the Pats are on the verge of knocking down the door again in 2007.