Borges: Realistic expectations for Pats in 2013

Borges: Realistic expectations for Pats in 2013
September 6, 2013, 9:45 pm
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The season of prediction is running wild at this point with two days remaining before the NFL season openers for 30 of the 32 teams. 

Add another one to the list.

Ron Borges of the Boston Herald joined the Uno Sports Tonight crew Friday night to offer up his predictions for the Patriots this 2013 season.

Borges recently co-authored a lengthy feature on the Aaron Hernandez situation that called into question head coach Bill Belichick and owner Rob Kraft's lack of knowledge about the 23-year-old's troubles. 

If you think that would make him sour on the Patriots potential on the field for the regular season though, you are wrong. 

"I think they should win the division unless something bizarre happens. Miami I think is a little better and if their quarterback takes off I think they can be competitive, but I don't think so. And forget the other two teams," Borges said. "So that makes them division champion and they're in the tournament and anything can happen." 

"In the end I look at them as probably an 11-5 team."

For the Patriots, 11 wins appears pretty pedestrian for the standards of the Brady-Belichick era. After all, the team has eclipsed that mark in each of the last three seasons and has only fallen below that number twice in the last 10 seasons.

New faces litter the Patriots receiving group though, and the tumultuous offseason problems should not be overlooked on how it could affect team performance.

Those aren't the issues Borges is worried about. 

What he is looking at is a unit that has caught a lot of flack in recent years, a set of players that, if things don't change, could continue to hold the Patriots back in their quest for a fourth Super Bowl in the 21st century.

"What has hurt them over the last five or six years is their defense….In the playoffs the team is 0-5 in games where they score 20 points or less. So what that tells me is in those dogfight games, they don't win," Borges said. "And in several of those games, including the Super Bowl, for all the knock that later came on Brady and the offense, the offense took them down the field and gave them the lead and they couldn't hold the lead…The defense has still got to prove itself."