There's no question Tom Brady's bunch is favored to bring home a seventh Lombardi Trophy come February. There will be ups and downs along the way. But, here are four "Pats promises" - one for each down - that you can expect this season.
1. The road to Miami will go through Foxboro.
That's a given. The Patriots will have home-field advantage. No disrespect to the folks in Kansas City, but I expect the Chiefs to take a step back this year, and Patrick Mahomes to go through some growing pains as opposing defenses start to figure him out.
Not to mention the likes of KC, Pittsburgh and Cleveland all come to One Patriot Place in the regular season. The Steelers are a mess and Baker Mayfield and Co. aren't ready to tangle with the big boys quite yet.
2. The Patriots will have the best defense in the NFL
We're talking about basically the same unit that was only the second in NFL history - the 1971 Cowboys were the other - not to allow a touchdown in a Super Bowl. The secondary is absolutely loaded. It's the best unit on the back end since the likes of Ty Law and Rodney Harrison roamed the secondary
3. We'll see one "interesting loss."
But it won't be in Miami. I see only two "trap games" away from Foxboro, and they'll come in Washington and in Houston.
The Redskins are always tough at FedEx Field. And I'm not just saying this because my best friend bleeds burgundy and gold, and we have push-ups and burpees riding on the Week 5 matinee. The 'Skins are young, talented and have played the Pats tough in the past.
Houston suddenly has a wide-open door in the AFC South thanks to Andrew Luck's retirement from Indianapolis. It's the Texans' division to lose. Bill O'Brien is due for a win over his mentor, and it could come in the Lone Star State.
4. The 14-2 Patriots will defeat the Saints in Super Bowl LIV
This is the matchup we SHOULD'VE had last year. Ohh and the aforementioned Redskins fan best friend? Her husband is a member of Who Dat Nation.
We'll finally get that Brady-Drew Brees matchup on South Beach. Ratings will explode and Brady will get his 7th.
On paper, New Orleans is the best team in the NFC. They'll beat Philadelphia on Bourbon Street while the Pats will dispatch of the L.A. Chargers on Route 1.
On to 2019.