Last week, we took a two-part look at the 2012 schedule for the New England Patriots and projected that they would go 12-4. At least one analyst thinks that prediction is too conservative.
Pete Prisco of CBSsports.com recently previewed the seasons of each of the NFL's teams, and projected the Patriots go 16-0 in the regular season.
He believes Brandon Lloyd will make an offense that already contained some of the league's best players at their positions better, a thought he considers frightening for the rest of the league.
Prisco cites Vince Wilfork as the Patriot X-factor, and believes the defense will improve enough to guarantee other teams will not be able to go tit for tat with the Pats.
Prisco's preview also raises questions that could derail a perfect season for Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and company. He questions whether Rob Gronkowski will be able to bounce back from his ankle injury or whether Stevan Ridley will be able to emulate BenJarvus Green-Ellis' fumble-free rushing.
Prisco provides solid evidence to back up his audacious prediction, but 16-0 is asking a lot, even for a team with an offense for the ages and a much-improved defense. To say that the team will play every game to perfection with no hiccups along the way is tough to believe.
Not even the dominant Dallas Cowboys teams of the early nineties or Bill Walsh's San Francisco 49ers went undefeated in the regular season, let alone twice.
We all know how it ended the last time the Patriots went 16-0. Perfection is nice, but it does not guarantee silverware. Even if you win 16, there is only one game whose outcome can truly make you a winner.
What do you think? Will the Patriots orchestrate another perfect season in 2012?
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