With the NFL preseason underway, and the start of the Patriots preseason just days away. Fans may get some answers to questions they've had all off-season. But what if something unexpected happens? That no one thought that could happen, good or bad? Here now are a few "what if's" about the upcoming season, along with the ending result.

#1: What if the Patriots don't win their division?

While the media may over play this scenario, odds are the only negative that SHOULD come out of this is that they didn't win their division. The Patriots would still be in the playoffs thanks to the two wildcard spots, but there will be some looming disappointment that they couldn't win their division.

#2: What if the running game disappears?

The Patriots are really counting on the run game this year, and they have shown in the past that even if the running game isn't good. They still try to keep teams honest by running the ball a few times. This will be the only negative if the running game disappears for whatever reason. Production that should be there isn't, and the team continues to run it into the ground (no pun intended).

#3: What if the Patriots win the Super Bowl?

Through all the horrible off-season, it seems more and more the Patriots have fallen out of the spotlight. A quiet journey to the Super Bowl may be what this team needs to pick itself back up and be dominate like in years past.

#4: What if Tom Brady goes down for any length of time?

Ultimately, this is the worst case scenario. While Mallet isn't a great starting QB, he's used to performing on big stages (refer to his college career) Mallet is be no means Tom Brady, but he'll keep defenses on edge and on their toes when he gets under center thanks to his powerful arm. His frame, 6'6, 245 lbs. Would give defenses a hard task to bring down. And the running game and improved defense should keep the Patriots in contention until Brady gets back, if he ever does.

#5: What if the defense takes a step back?

A disappointment? Yes. A problem? Sorta. The Patriots have dealt with bad defenses before and in the past the defense did take a step back. If the Patriots hadn't faced this issue before, then I'd say it's a problem. Even with the team depending on the defense a bit more this year. The Patriots I think will figure out a way to overcome it.

#6: What if the Patriots miss the playoffs?

While I don't think any overhaul of the coaching staff should and would happen. I do think the roster will be in for big changes. Including the Pats possibly perusing some big name free agents at the expense of letting a few players go. On top of this, next year's draft class looks pretty promising. Especially on the defensive side. The Pats would get a mid 1st round pick and possibly improve even more.  

Eric Anderson 8/05/2013 04:20:00 PM Edit

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