Are the Patriots the team to beat in the AFC this season? Sports Illustrated’s Peter King doesn’t think so.
In his preseason rankings, King tabs New England at No. 14. The veteran football writer cited question marks on defense and the receiving corps as his rationale for the middle-of-the-pack ranking.
He slotted them in the “On The Playoff Bubble” range, alongside the likes of Minnesota, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
"I still don't know who will rush the passer, who the shutdown corner is, who the Mike Vrabel/Rodney Harrison defensive leader is, and if there's enough depth at wide receiver to survive until Wes Welker returns," King wrote.
Green Bay was his choice at No. 1, despite similar concerns with the Packers’ pass rush. San Diego, Indianapolis, Baltimore and New Orleans rounded out the top five.