1. New England Patriots 11-5
They overcame a slew of injuries and managed to win 12 games. They have rebuilt the defense, which was their cornerstone for so many years, adding Darelle Revis, Brandon Browner and draft pick Dominque Easley. They lost so much talent and leadership on that side it’s almost a miracle they were still one of the top scoring defenses.
Getting Jerod Mayo and the space eating Vince Wilfork back will be huge. Donta Hightower has been okay, but can he avoid the typical path of Alabama defenders of just sucking in the NFL? We shall see. The guy to watch on the defense is Chandler Jones. I think he has the potential to be top 5 in sacks this season, and they will need an elite pass rusher to contend for a championship. One has to figure as long as Brady is upright they are the team to beat in this division, regardless of who is catching passes. Gronk can’t stay healthy and their WRs don’t scare anyone. I mean, who is scared of two tweener receivers that can’t stretch the field in Danny Amendola (who is ALWAYS injured) and Julian Edleman?
They will need more out of Aaron Dobson, who was hurt last season. But they’ll find a way, they always do. Their running game will need to be good again, and it should be. Even without Blount they still have good runners. In the end, Belichick will find a way to piece it all together and dominate the inferior competition in this division.