Originally posted on Patriots Extra  |  Last updated 9/9/12
Stephen:  Based on their easy schedule and the improvements on defense, I expect the Patriots to go 14-2 during the regular season. I know it's not always fair to judge a strength of schedule based on last year's record, but I still think the Pats are set up for a deep playoff run with the opponents on the docket. During the first eight weeks, the only game they should conceivably struggle with will be against the Baltimore Ravens. Other than that, the only two games that could result in losses would be the back-to-back matchups against the Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers.  Personnel-wise, I think the Patriots are loaded on offense and should be even better than last year. Aaron Hernandez will be a Pro Bowler, and Gronk, Welker and Lloyd should continue to put up big numbers. On defense, the front seven should be more athletic and aggressive. The secondary would benefit from a turnaround season from Devin McCourty and continued health from Ras-I Dowling and Pat C...
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