2011 Offensive Rank: 3rd
Key Players: QB Tom Brady, HB Stevan Ridley, HB Shane Vereen, WR Wes Welker, WR Brandon Lloyd, TE Rob Gronkowski, TE Aaron Hernandez
Tom Brady has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks the last three years, and for the first time since his magical 2007 season, he will be working with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
Gone is BenJarvus Green-Ellis. His replacements will be a collection of Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. Both running backs have flashed major ability in the preseason.
Make no doubt about it; this is going to be a passing team. The Patriots are a two-tight end offense in name only. Aaron Hernandez is more of a miscast wide receiver, but all the more dangerous. Rob Gronkowski set the record for touchdown receptions by a tight end last year with 17, after scoring 10 touchdowns as a rookie the year before.
Wes Welker is the most dangerous slot receiver in the NFL, and he will return to the fold after signing his franchise tag tender.
The Patriots finished third in scoring last year without a true downfield threat. That was ultimately their downfall in the Super Bowl loss to the Giants.
That makes Brandon Lloyd their biggest addition. Lloyd will be the downfield threat they have lacked since Randy Moss was traded in 2010.
Defenses will have to pick their poison from the Patriots’ base offense. They cannot double any one player without someone else beating them, whether it's Gronkowski, Hernandez, Welker or Lloyd.