But that was months ago. Since then the season has been a roller-coaster ride for everyone in New England.
Here are the winners and losers of the New England Patriots 2011 Regular Season.
Tom Brady is luckier then the man who just won the Lottery. Every year Brady is a lock to be a winner and this year is no different.
He led the Patriots to a 13-3 record and the top seed in the AFC. He broke Dan Marino's single-season passing yards record and finished the year with a 105.6 QB Rating, good for third in the league.
Brady also tossed 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 401 passes with a 65.6 competition percentage.
Just a typical year for Mr. Brady.
For the sanity of this slideshow I will now refer to Chad "Ochocinco" as Mr. Johnson. Johnson was supposed to be the savior in New England. Johnson was supposed to be a go-to deep route. He was supposed to fill the hole that Randy Moss left.
If anything, he made that hole bigger. Johnson finished 2011 with 15 receptions for 276 yards and ONE touchdown. Danario Alexander, Brandon LaFell, Dane Sanzenbacher and Chaz Schilens all had more touchdowns then Johnson.
While I'm always up for the antics that Johnson brings to the field I just wish he occasionally also brought hands.
My Rob Gronkowski jersey came today so I'll finish writing this slide when I'm done Gronking.
If I didn't group the whole defense up in one bunch then this article would be as long as Pinocchio's nose.
To say that the defense this year was horrible would be an understatement. New England gave up 411.1 total yards and 239.9 passing yards per game. Both of those are league worsts. The defense was worse then a Twilight movie.
Losing Patrick Chung and Andre Carter to injuries didn't help either. If the Patriots have any shot of making the Super Bowl then this unit, especially the secondary, needs to step up in a major way.
Though this defense as a whole was darker than the nighttime there was one bright spot. Kyle Arrington filled in for the injured Devin McCourty and did a great job.
Arrington had a career year and finished with 88 tackles and a league-leading seven interceptions.
The cornerback did a bang-up job this year and was one of the few reasons why the team didn't crash and burn like the plane on Lost.
Talk about disappointing. Haynesworth was brought in over the offseason to stabilize the defense and help in the trenches.
Big Al recorded a grand total of three tackles until he was shipped to Tampa Bay after Week 9. It is also worth noting that after acquiring Haynesworth, the Buccaneers lost every single game.
Haynesworth is the biggest loser, as he will be watching the playoffs from home.
Enough about that defense, shall we talk about that offense?
Wes Welker has a lot to do with the NFL-leading Patriots offense. He has 122 receptions on the year. That leads the league and is 22 receptions more than the second-place receiver. That alone goes to show how important Welker is to this offense.
He also has 1,569 receiving yards, second only to Megatron (Calvin Johnson). Welker defies all logic by going in the middle of the field and daring defenses to stop him.
I love BenJarvus Green-Ellis and I think that he can be a good player. But his production this year was not up to his potential.
Green-Ellis had 667 yards on the year. That ranked 26th in the league. His measly 41.7 yards per game ranked 39th in the league.
But not everything was bad for BenJarvus this season. He reached the end zone 11 times in 2011. That is third in the league. His season proves that while there is potential to be a good back he is not quite there yet.