Patriots

Here's where Patriots stand in latest NFL win totals, Super Bowl odds

Here's where Patriots stand in latest NFL win totals, Super Bowl odds

The New England Patriots are coming off their sixth Super Bowl championship, and even after losing several key players to retirement and free agency over the offseason, oddsmakers still like the Pats' chances of enjoying another very successful season in 2019. 

The defending Super Bowl champions had an over/under of 11 wins when the initial 2019 NFL win totals were released in March, and that number has remained unchanged at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas following the 2019 NFL Draft this past weekend, per ESPN. The Patriots again have the highest win total of any team, and ESPN also notes New England has the best odds to make the playoffs at -900. 

Here are the latest Super Bowl LIV odds from the Westgate. The Patriots are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs as co-favorites.

The Patriots again are an easy pick to win the AFC East and make a deep playoff run. Their 2019 schedule is a pretty easy one, too. Based on 2018 opponent win percentages, the Patriots are tied for the second-softest 2019 regular-season schedule in the league.

New England won just 11 games last season, breaking a run of eight consecutive years with 12 or more victories. There's reason to believe the Patriots will get back to 12 wins in 2019 with a soft schedule, a strong incoming rookie class, the best head coach in league history and some guy named Tom Brady leading the offense at quarterback.

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Report: Patriots QB Tom Brady 'as excited as ever' for 2019 NFL season

Report: Patriots QB Tom Brady 'as excited as ever' for 2019 NFL season

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has won it all as an NFL player, but the hallmark of any all-time great is never being satisfied.

A seventh Super Bowl title this coming season would give the Patriots the most such championships of any NFL team in history. It also would give Brady a two-title lead on any other pro football player, give the Pats back-to-back titles for the second time in team history and push the 41-year-old quarterback ahead of NBA legend Michael Jordan in championship rings.

With all of this at stake, it's hardly a surprise Brady is raring to go for the 2019 season. ESPN's Mike Reiss reported on Brady's mindset in a column Monday:

As is the norm, Patriots quarterbacks and players recovering from injuries are among those who report for training camp earlier than the regular veteran reporting date (July 24). So that essentially means this is the final weekend for Brady to fill the tank with family/personal time before he begins the grind of his 20th season. That is how Brady has described his approach over the past two offseasons, which he believes allows him to be his best self in attacking all the demands of a football season. It worked well for him in 2018, and now with his 42nd birthday approaching Aug. 3, I can already envision his first motivational Instagram post/tweet as he makes his way to Gillette Stadium next week as part of the early reporting group. Those close to him describe him as being as excited as ever.

Brady's receiving corps was hit hard by injuries and suspensions last season, but he still managed to complete 65.8 percent of his passes for 4,355 yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was masterful at the end of both the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LIII as well. 

The Patriots again are the favorite to win the Super Bowl and Brady's excellent play in his 40s is among the reasons why. He still hasn't showed any definitive signs of slowing down, and based on his recent training and preparation, it would be hard to imagine any substantial decline taking place during the upcoming campaign.

The Pats also have done a good job this offseason of bolstering the running back and the wide receiver positions, particularly through the draft, to enhance the amount of offensive talent around Brady.

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Patriots wide receiver Braxton Berrios arrives early to training camp

Patriots wide receiver Braxton Berrios arrives early to training camp

The New England Patriots have a pretty wide open receiving corps heading into the 2019 season. At the moment, it seems that only Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman and first-round draft pick N'Keal Harry are locked into roles on the roster.

As a result of this, there are plenty of players on the team that could battle for roster spots. And one of them is Braxton Berrios.

Berrios, a 2018 sixth-round pick out of Miami, is entering his second season with the Patriots organization. And per ESPN's Mike Reiss, Berrios has already shown up for training camp ahead of both the veteran report date (July 24) and the rookie report date (July 21).

It makes sense that Berrios, a player who Reiss said "shined in spring practices" would want to get in some extra work ahead of camp. He missed his rookie season with an injury, so getting some more reps could help build on the momentum he has created this offseason and further familiarize him with the New England system. And, of course, he'll want to show that he's dedicated to the team.

During his final college season at Miami, Berrios had 55 catches for 679 yards and nine touchdowns as one of the Hurricanes' top receivers. He also proved to be an excellent punt returner, averaging 15.9 yards per return as a senior and 10.4 yards in his four-year college career. That versatility could help give him an edge in the position battle, as Bill Belichick does value versatility.

Berrios will have plenty of competition at the receiver position. Phillip Dorsett, Dontrelle Inman, Maurice Harris, and Demaryius Thomas (if healthy) are all veteran options who could make the team, and that doesn't include special teams ace and listed receiver, Matthew Slater. But getting to camp early should give him a chance to continue to earn the trust of the Patriots' coaching staff and potentially find a role in the slot.

In his latest roster projection, our own Phil Perry had Berrios making the 53-man roster along with five other veterans. Click here for his full thoughts on the roster and Berrios' chances of making it in the receiving corps.

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