Patriots

Updated betting odds to make NFL playoffs for all 32 teams in 2019 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Updated betting odds to make NFL playoffs for all 32 teams in 2019 season

Training camps are about a month away for most NFL teams, and with free agency and the draft behind us, oddsmakers have released odds to make the playoffs for all 32 teams.

The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, who have not missed the postseason since 2008 when they went 11-5 without an injured Tom Brady, are -850 to make the playoffs. No other team is even close to those odds.

New England has won the AFC East division 10 consecutive years and in 15 of the last 16 seasons. Even a Brady injury might not severely dampen the Patriots' odds of making the playoffs given the lack of quality competition in the division. The Pats also have one of the easiest 2019 schedules based on opponents' win percentage in 2018.

Here's the full list of odds to make the playoffs next season.

The Miami Dolphins are the biggest longshots to make the playoffs at +1200. Former Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is entering his first season as Dolphins head coach, and the team's lack of a franchise quarterback certainly is one factor in these odds.

A couple interesting bets involve the Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans. The Packers should make the playoffs if quarterback Aaron Rodgers is healthy, but that hasn't been a sure thing over the last few years. Similarly, the Texans should be able to earn at least a wild-card berth if quarterback Deshaun Watson is able to stay healthy. Watson played all 16 games in 2018 after tearing his ACL about halfway through his rookie campaign. The Texans won the AFC South in 2018 with Watson.

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These stats highlight the Patriots' excellence protecting the quarterback

These stats highlight the Patriots' excellence protecting the quarterback

The pillars of any good offense in the NFL most likely involve good quarterback play, a solid offensive line and a scheme that maximizes the strengths of its skill players. 

The Patriots have checked all of those boxes for almost two decades, and it's helped them win six Super Bowl championships and nine conference titles. Tom Brady has been the constant for the entire run of dominance and the offensive line's ability to keep a clean pocket has helped him play into his age-42 season. 

According to Connor Price of Pro Football Focus, the Patriots have the fourth-fewest quarterback pressures (2,001) in the league over the last 10 years, trailing only the Bengals (1,786), Saints (1,945) and Titans (1,957). The league-average for the last 10 years is 2,025 quarterback pressures.

Not only that, but New England also sports the fourth-best pressure rate over that span as well (25.4 percent), behind Cincinnati, New Orleans and Pittsburgh with the league average hovering around 28 percent.   

The Patriots have consistently invested in their offensive line and have the masterful Dante Scarnecchia overseeing the unit, but Brady executing the team's offensive scheme to perfection goes a long way in these stats as well. 

What makes Brady so good, among many things, is his ability to understand opposing defense's tendencies and concepts. This allows him to dissect what's happening in front of him quicker than basically any other quarterback and hit his receivers before pass rushers can finish their moves. 

Without Rob Gronkowski going into this season and seemingly more weapons on the outside than normal, it will be interesting to see if the Patriots' offensive line can continue to keep the pocket clean for Brady if he targets more downfield throws. 

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Julian Edelman pumped for Patriots camp to begin: 'School's back in session'

Julian Edelman pumped for Patriots camp to begin: 'School's back in session'

Julian Edelman warmed up for training camp Saturday by putting on a clinic in near 100-degree heat.

The Patriots wide receiver helped conduct his football clinic for about 600 boys and girls at Lincoln-Sudbury High School about 40 minutes north of Foxboro. The Super Bowl MVP compared Pats camp, which begins Thursday at Gillette Stadium, to school being back in session.

“I’m extremely excited for the new year. This is a new team. Training camp coming up, this is kind of like when school’s back in session," Edelman told reporters. "We had summer break, [now] you get to see all the fellas. This is where you learn your team and learn each other and become accountable for each other and work hard together and create a consistency together."

The undisputed veteran of a Patriots receiving corps that is short on big names beside himself, Edelman, 33, is ready to mentor young receivers, such as first-round pick N'Keal Harry. 

“This is like the beginning shape form of your team, these next few weeks. It’s a crucial point. We put a lot of hard work in during the spring, and the next step to playing other teams, so it’s definitely exciting.”

With tight end Rob Gronkowski retired, Edelman takes center stage as Tom Brady's favorite target. He led all Pats receivers with 850 yards in the regular season despite an NFL-imposed PED suspension that kept him out of the first four games. His 10-catch, 141-yard performance against the Rams in Super Bowl 53 earned him game MVP honors.

Starting Thursday, he'll lead a receiver group that includes few familiar names: Phillip Dorsett returns, Braxton Berrios is back from the practice squad, Harry is a top draft pick and free-agent signees Demaryius Thomas, Dontrelle Inman and Maurice Harris are among those who've been added.