Why worry yourself about what some flop over at NFL.com or ESPN predicts for the Patriots?
I don't know how half these writers have jobs anyway, I mean, what qualifies them to analyze anything?
I'm not talking about the former coaches, players, and GMs... I'm talking about all those other guys that write garbage opinions as if they have a clue. They all must have gone to the school of Ron Borges reporting.
So take it from a fan who has paid a little bit of attention to the Patriots the past few decades, this is what we will see in 2013 from the Patriots (disclaimer- These predictions lose all validity should Brady be injured or the team suffer a severe number of injuries elsewhere):
The 2013 Patriots will produce the most balanced and best offense of the Brady + BB era.
That's right, this offense will be more dynamic than the 2007 Offense or the 2004 Offense. Sure in 2007 they had an even greater assemblage of WRs than they do this season. No argument. Moss and Welker were near the top of their games, and Gaffney and Stallworth rounded it out to be as dangerous a group of WRs as there were that year.
And for sure I'd take the 2004 Dillon and Faulk combo over Ridley and Vereen. Dillon and Faulk easily combined for over 2000 yards of offense that year, and were clutch players. But the depth at the position this season is far better than it was in 2004, and the combinations of Ridley/Blount/Vereen/Washington (or however it shakes out) could be just as productive as who they had in 2004... even if not one of them are as all around awesome as Corey was.
And in neither of those seasons did they have as significant a threat at the TE position as they do now with Gronkowski (and Sudfeld/Ballard/Hooman/Fells however that shakes itself out).
In 2007 they were hampered by a very erratic and not well rounded RB (Maroney) who was a poor blocker, and who had no elusiveness at all, at or behind the LOS. In 2004 they had a somewhat limited cast of WRs, they didn't have the big physical outside threat, they didn't have much at all behind Branch and Givens that season. And they've never had much more than one solid/healthy TE on the roster until the last couple of seasons.
The Offense pretty much has it all this season (or will once Gronk returns healthy). TE threats, solid RBs, talent and depth at WR (including a big physical outside threat).
Tell me, when has Brady operated an Offense with this much talent?
When did Brady have a Running game that could dominate, and the TEs that could block and catch as well as any at their position, and solid slot and outside threats at WR... on the same team, in the same season?
The 2013 Patriots will have the most opportunistic Defense they have had since the 2004.
In 2004 the Patriots had a dominant front 7 and a Safety that was as good as anyone at that time, this year, the Patriots have a dominant front 7 (or more) and a solid group of Safeties that collectively can be as good as we've seen since 2004 (A.Wilson, McCourty, and some solid young players behind them) ... they don't have a CB the caliber of Ty Law on the team, but they didn't in 2004 either (he was injured) if Ryan can have a McCourty or Samuel like rookie season, they will be good enough at the CB position with Talib, Arrington, and the rest to be just as solid as any other Secondary we have seen the past decade.
When it comes to take-aways, sacks, and red-zone stops... this Defense will be in the top five in the NFL.
All the pieces are in place this season, with some luck in the health department, this Patriots team will be as good as any they have had during the BB+ Brady era.