Now we get to see it all unfold.
After a spring of offseason transactions and summer practices, it's time to see how these New England Patriots really look. After a long wait that included free agency, the draft, minicamps and preseason games, the Patriots are set to truly begin their journey back to (if everything works out) the Super Bowl.
It's time for the season to begin in Foxboro.
First up in Sunday's season opener are the Tennessee Titans, and the Patriots will have their hands full with a variety of challenges, some of which are their own and some of which are presented by their opponent.
How they handle them will go a long way to determining what kind of note New England's promising 2012 season begins on.