There are seasons when looking at the Patriots, it was obvious they had all the pieces they needed to be a dominant team, and there have been seasons where an observant eye could see the glaring weaknesses that would lead to a season short of the SB.
There was 2004, coming off a Championship season, where they traded for Dillon, and lucked into Wilfork falling to them in the draft, and by the time the season began one could see they were a better team in 2004, than in 2003.
And there was 2007, after just falling short of another SB Championship, when they collapsed in Indy against the Colts, that offseason they brought in Welker, Moss, Stallworth and AD Thomas, they were loaded up with talent and ready to make a run the likes of which would go down in history.
In comparison, one could see weaknesses galore in 2008 and 2009, a Defense that had issues wherever you looked, an offense that had a first round running back that never performed near to the value of where he was picked, and then there were the injuries to Brady.
And now here we are in 2013, the team has seen almost a complete turn-over from the last time they looked loaded to dominate a season. They have loaded up on TEs, they have solid options at RB, and they have restocked their stable of WRs... Brady has not had this much talent around him since 2007.
Sure you could say we have no idea how Dobson, Boyce, Edelman, Amendola, and Jones will work out... but that's kind of like saying we had no idea how Welker, Moss and Stallworth would work out in 2007... The likelihood of them filling the voids at the position and the offense continuing to hum along are pretty good.
Indeed, the Offense looks like it could be as strong and capable as it ever has been.
It's on Defense where the big changes are coming, or should I say, the big changes in performance... for while some of the names and faces have changed on Offense, its not like there was much room to improve from their #1 in the NFL Offense.
In fact, one of the key reasons why the Defense will be so strong this year, is not that they changed out a lot of players... on the contrary, everyone of note is returning from last year, from Wilfork to Talib.
The big difference for the Defense lies in the talent they have added to it this season. Not only did they add Jamie Collins, Logan Ryan, Duran Harmon and Micheal Buchanon in the draft, they added Armond Armstead and Jason Vega as well, two star players from the CFL. The icing on the cake was adding Adrian Wilson, the punishing strong safety released into FA by the Cardinals.
To top it all off, they have about a dozen top Undrafted rookie Free Agents in camp.
The Patriots are heading into 2013 with as much depth and talent as they have had since their 2003-2004 years, and with a staff that is at least as experienced as any they have had since then.
There is really no team better situated in the AFC, to weather the 16 game season and come out of it strong and ready to dominate in the post season.