Not since 2005 has there been so much uncertainty heading into a season in Bill Belichick’s tenure in New England. Before the 2005 season, not only did both coordinators leave, but two of their best defensive players also left. Tedy Bruschi has a stroke that could’ve ended his career, he, of course, came back mid season, but Ty Law left and did not come back. There were tons of questions about the team, and they ended up finishing 10-6, losing to Denver in the Divisional Round (granted they were screwed by one of the worst calls in NFL history).
Throw out the Seth Wickersham click bait crap that has been following this team for months, and the list of changes is long. This season, the Patriots lost Matt Patricia, Dion Lewis, Malcolm Butler, Nate Solder, Danny Amendola, and Brandon Cooks, and Julian Edelman for the first four weeks. You could make a case the three best free agents in football all came from New England, though. They have a new starting left tackle, running back, cornerback, and wide receiver not to mention Amendola, who was a big play machine.
Now, here’s the thing, the Patriots adapt to change better than pretty much any team ever. They also got back Dont’a Hightower, Jonathan Jones, and Derek Rivers back. Combine that with some possible impact players coming in, namely Adrian Clayborn and Ja’Whaun Bentley, and the Patriots defense should be immeasurably better. With a defense that should be a top 10 unit, the Patriots should have some time to figure things out on offense. Remember that they were a terrible second half collapse away from making, and probably winning, a Super Bowl with Reche Caldwell as their number one receiver.
Long story short: Until they give you a reason not to, trust in Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. They have yet to let us down, and I don’t see any indication they will this year either.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @wtplane