ROb touched upon it a little yesterday and believe it or not Mike and I were on the same/ similar pages. Anyone who is impressed by the Patriots this year is absolutely ridiculous.
The Patriots have played 3 games this year against 1-2 Miami, 1-2 Minnesota, 0-3 Oakland. The Patriots have a 2-1 record and look like they are going to have a tougher year than most thought.
Tom Brady isn't done but is on the decline. Since 2010 Brady's quarterback rating has gone down. A lot of this can be contributed to the lack of weapons the organization has got him. But he seems to be bouncing or misfiring more balls then usual, especially this year. You have to feel bad for Tom Brady in some sense as he can look at Denver and see Peyton Manning who's career is winding down and sees an organization that gives him everything he wants to elongate his career. Peyton Manning has Demerious Thomas (1st round pick), Montee Ball (1st round pick), Julius Thomas, Wes Welker (Brady's favorite target ever) and free agent signing Emmanual Thomas (whom the Patriots had a chance to sign and were too cheap to sign). Meanwhile the Patriots have Gronk who is injury prone dating back to college, Ridley/Vareen (mediocre at best), Danny Amendola (whom they chose to sign over Welker), Brandon Lafell (who was never good at Carolina), Kenbrell Thompkins (undrafted rookie) and Julian Edleman (who thank God turned into what he is or the Patriots would be fucked).
The Patriots also have one of the worst lines in football who has already got Brady sacked 5 times and knocked down 14 times. The Patriots lost line coach Dante Scarnecia in the offseason who was the coach forever, then decided to trade the anchor of the offensive line Logan Mankins for nothing. Nothing. This will only amplify as the season goes on and the line gets more tired. Nobody can be impressed with the Patriots offensive line including human turnstile and former first round pick Nate Solder.
Now onto the defense. The vaunted defense the Patriots are supposed to have has been average at best. They have played 3 teams, 2 with absolute awful offenses and did what they should have. The only stand out in this defense so far this year is 1st round pick Chandler Jones (whom I loved that draft at the time). Darrell Revis is not the guy we thought was going to be, he got caught out of position a couple times by Mike Wallace and let up 5 of 6 catches to the receiver he was covering against a rookie QB in his 3rd start. He has not been the "shut down" guy everyone expected. The LBs have been invisible and the rest of the secondary has not been tested as they haven't played anyone. In the upcoming weeks we will see and what they are really made of.
The Patriots should win the AFC East although I think Buffalo is a real good team. But if anyone can say they are impressed with what has happened so far this year is a moron.