After reading Bob's absurd post yesterday with limited explanation of the Patriots how the Patriots will go 13-3, I feel Patriot fans should proceed with caution this year. There is no doubt in my mind the Patriots will make the playoffs, however, it's not going to be as easy as years past.
1. New WR corp: Danny Amendola is great when healthy, however, he has never been. He has already missed time during the preseason, and has giant shoes to fill in Brady's security blanket in Wes Welker. Also, Julien Edelman is another guy that cannot be heavily relied on due to his injury past as well. So you are banking on 2 rookie WR in Kenbrell Thompson and Aaron Dobson. Remember all the busts that have come and gone from that position Taylor Price, Brandon Tate, Chad Jackson, PK Sam, Bethel Johnson.... yea me either. Their has always been buzz surrounding the Patriot WR, yet none since Deion Branch in 2002 has worked.
2. TE situation: We all know the case about Aaron Hernandez (and it seems that he was addicted to Angel Dust and Patriots knew of his "gangster ways" and were close to cutting him before) and him not being around because of you know jail. We also know about Gronks health, and although it seems he won't be on the PUP list, he will miss a couple of games. Jake Ballard is a joke, Hoo Man is a great blocker, and who I called earlier in the year would be a stud Zack Sudfeld is an unknown based on him being a rookie and the common theme injury prone (6 year player at Nevada). Gronk will end up being fine, but unreliable health wise based on the past couple of years. Brady is not going to be comfortable and have Hernandez as a safety blanket outlet.
3. The offensive line. It looks like Nate Solder is turning into yet another mediocre/ bust the Patriots have drafted and Logan Mankins hasn't looked too great in preseason. Agains't Detroit (which isn't an easy task to begin with) the pressure was immense. If they struggle and with Brady being a pocket passer, that could spell issues with the timing.
4. Defensive secondary. I have no idea what to think of the secondary. The front 7 is pretty solid, but the secondary has a ton of questions. If Aqib Talib goes down, they are fucked. Talib gets hurt once a year it seems like. Also, Alfonso Dennard has a court date 2 days before the 1st game? He could easily miss some time do to a DUI he had in the same town he got arrested for punching a cop in college. He is on probation and could easily be re sentenced. Kyle Arrington is probably going to get a lot of play and that should terrify Patriot fans. McCourty proved serviceable as a S and the jury is still out on Gregory and Adrian Wilson looks like he can't cover anyone and is more suited for outside LB in packages that a starting safety.
5. Brady is getting older. During the first 2 pre season games it looked as if the Patriots and Tom Brady were going to go undefeated. But the fact of the matter is, he is getting old and there are a lot of milage on him. I'm not saying this is the season he slows down, but it eventually has to happen? Right?
Like I said earlier, the Patriots should make the playoffs and will finish with a 10 or 11 win season. But to think it is a one sentence walk in the park like BMack wrote is ridiculous.