There are important NFL players and then there are the players who shoulder the fate of their teams based on day-in, day-out performance during the season. These are the latter. Here are the 3 Players Who Will Make Or Break The New England Patriots' 2015 Season.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Four games doesn't define a season, but the young signal caller will have the weight of the defending Super Bowl champs' world on his shoulders while Tom Brady sits out his suspension for the first month of the team's 2015 run. A lot of pundits have compared this to Matt Cassel's 2008 run, but the raw reality is that Cassel had a deadlier array of aerial weapons at his disposal than Garoppolo will enjoy. However, if he can build an express lane of throw and catch to Gronk, there's no reason New England can't come out of the wilderness at 3-1 before handing the reins back to Brady.
However, if the Pats go 1-3 or 0-4 with Brady out, the mountain will be steep for the Pats as Brady gets his game legs back.
CB Logan Ryan
Ryan has been tabbed as a favorite to take over a starting spot in the void left behind by Darrelle Revis, with his banner 2013 rookie season standing as proof that the kid can hang when given the chance. Ryan has five picks that year and has seven overall in his first two campaigns, and his ability as both a hitter and intelligent cover option has alreday shined through in spot starting work. The Pats will miss Revis, but just how much depends on what Ryan can do under the spotlight.
WR Brandon LaFell
LaFell told reporters recently that he's out of the walking boot necessitated by lingering injuries and that he's all systems go for training camp. That's HUGE for the Patriots. New England is banking on LaFell building off his career year in 2014, where he caught 74 passes for 953 yards and seven touchdowns. In addition to his leg/foot problems, LaFell gritted his teeth through a nagging shoulder injury last season. If the Pats' trainers can get him healthy enough to have full range of motion by September, continuity built heading into his second year with the Patriots and LaFell's innate talent could reap major dividends for New England.Back to the New England Patriots Newsfeed