It has become commonplace for teams in the NFL to lose multiple players to the injury bug every year. None seem to be exempt from this "new rule" of life in the modern football era.

But what would the outcome be if teams could play (theoretically speaking) an entire season with their original 53-man lineup? Can you imagine the continuity from week to week and the rapport on both sides of the ball? Game planning would be a cinch for offensive and defensive coordinators.

Few teams enjoy even a degree of the consistency that an inury-free year would give them, but the Patriots seem to have suffered an egregious onslaught on both sides of the ball. And, perhaps, the fates of several teams have been altered, even decided, by the vast number of injured players taken from their rosters.

So this is a "what-if-it-were-so" adventure into the realm of virtual impossibility in a world we know is far from perfect...

What If...

1. Rob Gronkowski hadn't needed surgery on his back or forearm...

The best tight end in football is going over the middle and roaming the end zone snagging bullets from Tom Brady and terrorizing opposing defensive backs. Add about 10 or 12 touchdowns to his total for the year. That would take the pressure off of Hoomanawanui.

2. Shane Vereen doesn't break his wrist...

Brady has yet another extremely dangerous mismatch out of the backfield, similar to a third tight end. Vereen was becoming one of the best threats in any backfield in the league before missing time, offering at least six to eight more TDs for an already explosive offense.

3. Brady has all of his receivers on the field at the same time...

Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Josh Boyce, Aaron Dobson, and Kenbrell Thompkins have all missed time. Even the rookies could be more productive without the interruption to their routine with the greatest QB in the game. Brady raises the game of everybody around him. Edelman has been the most consistent, playing in every game this year, though missing minutes in several contests. He is likely to surpass 1,000 yards on 100 receptions, though only notching six TDs going into the final game of 2013.

All the others have missed significant time, adding to their difficulties getting into sync with Brady. But each has flashed significant potential, projecting several more scoring opportunities in the red zone, as well as, from distance, adding possibly another dozen TDs to Brady's arsenal.

4. Brady has endured some shuffling in front of him...

The aging field general has spent far too much time on his back, owing to the less than adequate protection up front. With perennial stalwarts like Logan Mankins, Dan Connelly, and Nate Solder all experiencing some gimpiness this year, newcomers have pulled duty, while others have shifted to cover vacancies at times. Brady could have all day to throw given the solid protection of his usual guard.

5. Adrian Wilson patrols deep space alongside Devin McCourty...

Wilson may have lost a step, but still packs a punch; and next to McCourty, with Stephen Gregory, Tavon Wilson, and rookie Duron Harmon assisting in sub-packages would provide an imposing force behind Pro-Bowler Aqib Talib and rising star Alphonso Dennnard on the outside. Add talented rookie Logan Ryan and this secondary takes a back seat to noone. Gone are the days of surrendering a plethora of long plays. And that's not the worst of it...

6. Two of the best run-stoppers in the league take the punch out of any running game out there...

Believe me... these guys can defend the passing game, too; but Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo stuff running backs like nobody's business, and that plays right into the hands of the rest of the D. The Patriots were once known for their crushing defense, and three Super Bowls attest to that. There would be no stopping a team that (like in 2012) creates multiple turnovers in every game AND imposes their will on QBs and RBs alike.

It's one thing to outscore the rest of the league, but stopping them cold in their tracks is a dagger to the heart. That's exactly what the Patriots have lacked in 2013, allowing teams to stay in the game and keeping Brady off the field and unable to score points. As it is, Brady has managed only 24 TDs through 15 games; that could easily be more than doubled with a full slate of weapons.

Though 2012 didn't result in a championship, one of the elements sorely lacking from that effort was the dominating defense. That defense was slated to be much improved in 2013 before injuries began eating at their depth, and eventually their primary strenth. Ditto for an offense that never seemed to get off the ground and impose their will as they had in 2012 and 2007.

I could see the New England Patriots running away with every game, with Brady firing to a complete bevy of receivers, the most diverse running game in the league, and a defense that put the kabosh on the majority of opposing drives. Brady would be vying for the passing records... again...

Oh... if only...

It sends virtual shivers up and down my spine... the visions that dance in my head...

What if...