How will the Patriots fare this season?
They're an 8-8 work in progress, which means they could just as easily be 10-6 or 6-10. Don't be bet the house on the 10-6.
They're 8-8, and Bill Belichick could make them 9-7 with superior defensive game-planning. Good core players, but very shallow roster gives the Patriots no room for injuries, and definitely no room for mistakes. Let's see if Belichick's discipline is real where it counts - on the field - and not where it doesn't count, off of it.
Six rookie free agents, an unsettled offensive line, huge questions at running back and tight end do not a Super Bowl contender make. But this team, unlike recent Patriot teams, should get better and better as the season progresses, with Bill Belichick and staff making adjustments and changes as problems crop up. Strong defense and good coaching pay off.
This is a team in transition, and it'll probably take them three years to get where they're going.
Billy B can coach, OK? The man is a defensive Einstein, and the 2000 Pats will reflect this. But just exactly where is the running game? Can we count on Terry Glenn? How long before Drew takes the Big Hit, landing him hors de combat for three weeks? Figure 0-2 with the Colts, but they can still beat the rest of the division, and the rest of the games will evolve in a win-some, lose-some matter. Have I said anything any decent fan doesn't already know? No.
Three years of ``Don't Worry, Be Happy'' come back to bite Team Belichick in inaugural season. The defense will be tough and Belichick is better prepared than he was in Cleveland. But there's not enough help for QB Drew. Bledsoe has no running game, a patchwork offensive line, no tight end, few experienced receivers, a new system, and another offensive coordinator. It's asking too much. Especially with a schedule like this.