BOSTON (CBS) — We have finally reached Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season, which is the beginning of a new era for the New England Patriots. In addition to all the unknown that will go with teams playing football during a pandemic, the Patriots are going through quite the change in personnel with Cam Newton taking over for the departed Tom Brady.
No one really knows what to expect in 2020, from both a Patriots standpoint and a league standpoint, but we’re going to take a crack at it anyways. The WBZ-TV and CBS Boston Sports team will be answering a handful of questions regarding the Patriots as we count down to kickoff Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins.
First up — Who will be New England’s MVP?
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
Has to be Cam Newton, right? If things come together the way Bill Belichick needs/wants them to then it has to be this way. Newton is a former NFL MVP and when healthy is gifted with both his arm and legs. Josh McDaniels can design an offense to utilize those strengths and win football games. If it’s successful it will be a joy to watch as the season goes along. In my opinion, all the 31-year-old needs to do is stay healthy.
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV Sports
If you’re asking for the team MVP, I will give you two. Stephon Gilmore on defense, which is a bit obvious, and N’Keal Harry on offense. Harry is lighter and quicker and healthy. He should be the go to player as the season starts to go forward.
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Julian Edelman. Provided he can stay healthy, he will be the offensive linchpin that keeps the engine moving. He likely won’t have to carry the entire load like he did last year, as Cam will probably spread the ball out a bit more than Brady did. That should free up Edelman to be more explosive and more impactful when he does get the ball.
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
My heart says Gilmore because he’s the best corner in football. And with all the unknown on offense, the defense is probably going to have to carry this team much like they did last year.
That being said, I’m going to go with James White, who is as reliable as anyone at catching the football out of the backfield and moving the chains. He’s going to be massively important to Cam Newton in his first year in the New England offense, and White should have a career year in 2020.
You can watch the Patriots kick off their 2020 season Sunday on WBZ-TV — the home of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Friday night at 7 p.m. with Patriots All Access and kicks off Sunday at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. The Patriots and the Dolphins square off at 1 p.m., and stick to WBZ-TV after the game for Cam Newton’s first postgame press conference on Patriots 5th Quarter!