Quarterback Tom Brady looks fine. The Patriots' passing attack should pick up right where it left off. No worries in that phase of the game across New England.
The running game? Well, that's a different story.
As is often the case in the Bill Belichick era, the backfield is in a state of flux. Players going. Players coming. You name it. Uncertainty rules the day.
When New England (No. 2 in the AP Pro 32) was winning three Super Bowls in four years from 2002-2005, the team featured a power running game that could control the ball for long periods of time late in the game. Antoine Smith wasn't a Hall of Fame back, but he helped win two titles.
Now, there's a void. Despite a 13-3 regular season and an AFC championship last year, New England had problems keeping the ball away from opponents at the end of games. A strong, reliable running game would have helped that.
And then came the offseason. That's when Benjarvus Green-Ellis, the primary back for the past two years, departed for...