While Santa Claus has placed the Colts, Ravens, and NFL officials on his naughty list, the Patriots are primed for yet another deep run in the playoffs. There are two games left in the regular season before New England gets to enjoy their bye week, but don't expect anyone to relax. There's a lot of work and a long postseason left to win. Here's what Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the rest of the Patriots have on their shopping list:
Bill Belichick wants a quiet rest of the year with no more injuries to crucial positions. New England has lost a key starter in all but one game since the week 4 bye week, and Belichick would like nothing more than to break that streak in weeks 16 and 17.
Tom Brady wants an offensive line. Brady could have a giant shopping list, but the offensive line needs to improve if the Patriots are going to have any success in the postseason. Brady has been battered on a weekly basis and the run game has Houdini'd and vanished into thin air.
Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman want bubble wrap to get them into the postseason and ready to play. The offense is on a different level when both players are available, and Edelman looks close to a return. Gronkowski will be the only top tier player on offense for Brady when the Patriots face the Jets.
James White wants more touches because he turns water into Macallan 25. He's had two huge plays brought back because of terrible officiating in back-to-back week and he seems to be the perfect weapon to take advantage of the aging Jets linebackers.
Malcom Brown wants Santa to send Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson a bouquet of flowers as a thank you for passing on him in the draft, and allowing Brown to be the leading defensive tackle as a rookie for one of the best defenses in the league.
Rob Ninkovich wants a pair of socks, probably. Seems like something he'd want.
Jamie Collins wants Dont'a Hightower back in time for the playoffs because the defense goes from good to scary when the dangerous duo are playing next to one another. Jerod Mayo will be fine for the rest of the regular season, but Hightower is on another planet.
Malcolm Butler wants a favorable contract extension, with delayed delivery until January 4th, 2016, which is the first date that he (and Collins) can sign new deals. Hightower and Chandler Jones should be in the running for big extensions over the offseason as well.
Stephen Gostkowski wants an All Pro nod because leading the league in scoring for four straight seasons, without a single All Pro win, is just ridiculous.
What else should be on the Patriots' Christmas list?