Shannon Sharpe explained why he believes the Patriots will make the playoffs

"Cam Newton, another year of this system under his belt, he's healthy."

Shannon Sharpe is high on the Patriots this season. Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have the same odds (+130) of making the playoffs, but Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe is confident the Patriots are a safer bet.

Sharpe, speaking on Fox Bet, said he expects a bounce-back year in New England.

“I love what the Patriots did in the offseason,” Sharpe said.

He likes the acquisitions of tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, and defensive players Kyle Van Noy and Matthew Judon. Sharpe added that Stephon Gilmore is healthy, will be paired with J.C. Jackson, and will contribute defensively along with Dont’a Hightower.


“Cam Newton, another year of this system under his belt, he’s healthy,” Sharpe said.

Sharpe isn’t as high on the Steelers, pointing out that he’s not sure they did enough offensively this offseason to keep pace with the Patriots or teams in their own division. He said he expects New England to finish 10-7 or 11-6, over the 9.5-win plateau, and make the playoffs.

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