I'm not going to tell you that the Patriots are going to win the Super Bowl, but I do believe that they have a much better shot than most are giving them credit for right now. I'm also not going to tell you that Tom Brady will be the MVP of the year, even though that is a distinct possibility given the hooplah over his lack of proven receiving options after a tumultuous offseason.
I will tell you that Bill Belichick will pull some things out of his hat that will shock the league in a big way. That's what has made him the most successful coach of the past decade and a half. Don't blink, Belichick will do it again!
So, without any further ado, here are my bold predictions for the New England Patriots' 2013 season:
1. Tim Tebow will not throw a single pass for this offense in the regular season. He will, however, run a handful of option plays, as well as, act as a decoy/outlet option for Brady. What... were you expecting me to say that Tebow will get cut the day before the Patriots take the field in their first regular season game? That wouldn't be very bold. That's what everyone expects!
2. Danny Amendola will start all 16 games and lead the team with 100 receptions and 1,100 yards (give or take a hundred or so). Nobody thinks Danny can play a full season... surprise! Wes who?
3. Undrafted rookie free agent Kenbrell Thompkins out of Cincinnati will fall just two touchdowns shy of the record set by Randy Moss in 2007. He will steal the show from second round selection Aaron Dobson, who will also catch a plethora of TD passes from Brady.
Not only does he become the deep threat that has been missing since that year, this overlooked rookie has also managed to clean up his act and become the model citizen exemplified in 'The Patriot Way'. Oh, and Dobson will make ALL of his catches one-handed...
4. Tom Brady will break his own TD record with 55 touchdown throws, staying ahead of hopefuls: Brees, Rodgers, and Manning (the older one) for the single-season title. Brady proves that they can replace his entire receiving corps, but he will "throw them open" and torch opposing defenses with ease.
5. Zach Sudfeld permanently earns the nickname "Baby Gronk" and adds to the mismatch nightmare that Gronk and Hernandez presented a year ago. With Rob Gronkowski healthy and active come Week 6, the passing attack becomes more lethal than ever in Patriot history.
6. And sticking with the offense... Belichick elects to keep five running backs on the roster, giving the Patriots arguably the most diverse crew of runners in all of football, as well as the most balanced offensive attack in the league.
The Patriot rushing attack will break its own record with just over 3,200 yards rushing, and helping this offense to break its scoring record of 589 points in the 2007 season.
And that's why Brady won't win the MVP award, due to the diversity across the offense. The big question mark: How well will the defense protect the massive lead generated weekly by this offense?
The only way I could be any bolder is to predict that Tebow wins the starting job from Brady and leads the team to its fourth Super Bowl ring... and then I woke-up!