’17 New England Patriots as good a team on paper Bill Belichick has ever had – New England Patriots News

’17 New England Patriots as good a team on paper Bill Belichick has ever had – New England Patriots News

The talk of 19-0 isn’t stupid. 

To assume the Patriots will go 19-0? Sure, that’s stupid. But Julian Edelman’s recent quip that talk of a perfect season is nonsense should come as nothing more than an intelligent athlete declining to publicly set historic goals. 

The Patriots have three games on their schedule that should strike fans as potential losses right off the bat, one of which is before their bye and two of which are after it. The first is Week 7 against the Falcons at home, then there’s the Week 11 game against the Raiders in Mexico City and their Week 15 meeting with the Steelers in Pittsburgh. 

Without question, the Patriots are better than the Falcons, Raiders and Steelers. Since defeating two of them last postseason en route to a Super Bowl title, the Pats have made greater offseason improvements than any of them, with all due respect to 34-year-old Marshawn Lynch (made you look). 

So, in what isn’t exactly a shocking conclusion in any given year, the Patriots should be the better team in each of what should be an anticipated 19 games this season. They aren’t just the best team in the NFL, but they’re the best team in the NFL by a wide margin. 

This isn’t a “could this be the best Patriots team ever?” discussion, as the 2004 Pats will hold that distinction until otherwise is proven. Yet the 2007 team, one that was not perfect in its construction, was 35 seconds away from accomplishing that feat, even if it just barely escaped with victories against two non-playoff teams in the regular season. 

But assuming health (which is silly to assume) and no major surprises (which…

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