There has been a lot of "Patriots will take a step back" talk, but I disagree. This franchise is a perennial playoff team and I cannot recall the last time Tom Brady missed the playoffs. This team also has the Denver Broncos number, so if Peyton Manning wants another ring it will likely have to come with beating the Patriots along the way.
Playing in the AFC East pretty much guarantees the Patriots five or six wins and there is little doubt they will put away at least a .500 record in the rest of their games, so playoff bound they appear to be assured in 2013. And to be completely frank, the playoffs just wouldn't be as interesting without Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
6. New England Patriots (2012 Record: 12-4)
The Patriots are one of the few front offices in the NFL that blatantly drafts need over BPA. This must be where Josh McDaniels picked that tendency up during his two seasons with the Broncos. Who cares if its considered a reach, if it addresses an area the front office has determined is a need. That is exactly how the Patriots approached this years draft.
That said, this team wins a lot of games every single year. Remember how Peyton Manning averaged 13 wins a year during his career with the Colts? Yeah, same thing with Tom Brady. They will be in the thick of things come January 2014 and are the third ranked AFC team on this list.
I had also felt Tim Tebow would be a perfect fit in New England and it appears one of the bloggers for Pat's Pulpit agrees. 72% of fans even voted yes that they would like to see Tebow in a Patriots uniform. It would be interesting for sure, but who knows if his fanbase would allow it.