As is usually the case, the New England Patriots’ expectations are sky-high entering this season.

After coming up just short in Super Bowl LII last February, the Pats are geared up to try and reach their third straight title game this campaign.

And in making their preseason rankings, ESPN listed the Patriots as the second-best team in the NFL, trailing the squad that dispatched them in the Super Bowl, the Philadelphia Eagles.

Of note is that ESPN sets New England’s over/under for wins at 10.5, gives it an 83.9-percent chance to win the AFC East and 16.6-percent chance to win the Super Bowl. ESPN also slaps the Patriots with the easiest schedule in the NFL.

The preview also comes complete with a “Bold Prediction” in which Mike Reiss offered up this:

“Trent Brown will earn Pro Bowl honors at left tackle. One of the biggest questions for the Patriots entering 2018 was who would fill Nate Solder’s spot, and Brown has not only seized the role, he has dominated at times. Despite having just two career NFL starts at left tackle — with his primary work coming on the right side — he has exhibited some traits that could make him a Pro Bowl-caliber player if he puts them together consistently.”

All said, there’s plenty to be excited about heading into this season, even with the shortcomings the Patriots do have.

Click here for ESPN’s full NFL preview >>>

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