The New England Patriots have won two of the last three and three of the last five Super Bowls without the help of veteran defensive end Michael Bennett. However, the heralded Patriots somehow managed to acquire yet another valuable asset in Benefit this offseason while adding the veteran defensive lineman by way of a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, who actually defeated New England in Super Bowl LII.
With Bennett now officially on board in New England, the former Seattle Seahawks standout and former Super Bowl Champion will surely become a key piece of the Patriots defense come 2019-20.
Let’s dive in and take a look at three goals that Bennett should set for himself in 2019 with New England.
3. Record at least seven sacks during the 2019-20 regular season
Although this may initially seem like a low number for a player of Michael Bennett’s caliber, the Patriots have become quite good at rotating players in and out of the lineup. Because Bennett is now 33 years old, the Patriots will surely be able to get the most out of him without overplaying him over the course of his first season in New England in 2019.
Last season, in what would become his final go-round as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, Bennett recorded an even nine sacks over the course of all 16 regular season games. More importantly, the seasoned sack specialist has registered at least seven sacks in six of his last seven seasons overall.
Beginning his NFL tenure as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2009, Bennett has produced a total of 63 sacks across 141 career regular season appearances.
2. Record at least 40 total tackles
Michael Bennett will most definitely contribute in 2019, but the veteran pass rusher will also more than likely encounter a bit of a reduced role as the AFC East franchise typically operates with a turnstile approach along the defensive front. That does not mean that Bennett will play significantly less, but all of his snaps will become meaningful.
As a result, he must become more than just a sack specialist en route to producing at least 40 total tackles for New England in 2019. As a member of the Eagles last season, Bennett registered 34 total tackles with 25 of those wrap-ups coming by way of the solo variety. He has recorded at least 40 total tackles three times since making his way to the professional ranks of the NFL back in 2009 while most recently accomplishing such a feat in 2017.
1. Appear in all 16 regular season games
Only four times has Michael Bennett failed to appear in all 16 regular season games over the course of his NFL career. Not only that, but the New England pass rusher has managed to tally 16 regular season appearances as a result of six of his last seven seasons. If he is going to find success in New England, consistency is key, while appearing in every regular season game in 2019 will allow Bennett to serve as a constant for the heralded AFC East franchise.
If the Patriots are going to win the division and eventually yet another title, Bennett must remain healthy and on the field from start to finish.