After an entire offseason spent analyzing who the 2017 Patriots would be, we now have just a short window between actually finding out who made it through training camp and the official start of the campaign. This is why injuries are such a huge part of the game. No one could’ve predicted the early defining characteristic of the 2017 Patriots would be replacing an injured Julian Edelman but here we are.
So it’s a good time to take a quick breath and analyze this edition of the Patriots before the proverbial train leaves the station. You’ve read plenty of season previews by this point, but it’s really only the one that happens right now that truly matters.
Now we know who we’re taking to battle and what the strengths and weaknesses could potentially be. As always it’s important to remember that September really is just an extension of the preseason. The schemes, especially on defense, really start out slowly. Random guys will still get long looks in significant roles. The team will probably have a flat game where an inferior team on paper plays them tough. They’ll fight through it and ignore any noise.
This is September. Don’t overreact. Let things play out and let the coaching staff figure out exactly what they have and how to best use everyone. Then it’s pedal to the metal.
Let’s dive in.