Patriots tickets have been consistent winners for the last decade, among the best of NFL tickets. Tom Brady has been elevated in the minds of NFL fans (some of them anyway) to elite heights. During his tenure at quarterback Brady has shown flashed of temper, attributed to his “competitive” spirit, and pretty much been given a pass for sideline flareups. That competitive nature was in full bloom over the past few weeks as the New England Patriots managed to eke out two wins and remain undefeated thus far.
But we haven’t seen anything yet. The Patriots will face huge challenges this 2013 NFL season, beyond anything they may have faced before. Brady will be called upon to take a team with little running game consistency and a piecework wide receiver group, into an NFL season that looks to bring increased competition to the AFC East. While the Jets are considered long shots, both Buffalo and Miami are gathering steam, and with New England weakened it may be time for a re-shuffling of the power structure within the division.
In the next three weeks the Patriots will face the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta, a tough place to play against a team with Super Bowl aspirations. From there they move to Cincinnati and a Bengals team engaged in a bitter struggle within their own division and coming off a big win over Pittsburgh this week. New England returns home only to face a New Orleans Saints team leading the NFC South. The Saints have Drew Brees and a prolific offense. Keeping up on the scoreboard could be a problem and the Saints defense is playing with grit, unlike last season.
After that is another bout with a good Jets defense and a showdown with the Miami Dolphins, perhaps their biggest challenge in the division. While the Patriots have yet to lose, they haven’t won with the aplomb they’ve shown in the past. Some would say they’re lucky not to be 0-2 rather than 2-0. If things don’t go well in the next month we’ll get another look at that Tom Brady “competitive” nature.