The New England Patriots’ projected regular season win total opened at an NFL-high 11 games Sunday at the Westgate SuperBook, according to ESPN’s David Purdum.
The reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers are New England’s next-closest competitors at 10.5 projected wins apiece, while the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings each are projected for 10 wins.
The Patriots also had the highest win total projection for 2017, (12.5), but Vegas predicts much more parity this season — mostly because of the team’s uncertainty at quarterback.
“Brady is going to be 41, and (Jimmy) Garoppolo is gone,” Ed Salmons, the Westgate’s head football oddsmaker, told ESPN. “There just isn’t as much margin of error for the Patriots at this point.”
New England selected just one quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft — LSU’s Danny Etling, in the seventh round — who joins 32-year-old Brian Hoyer as the only QBs outside Brady on the roster.
Still, 11 wins seems like an attainable goal for the Patriots considering their track record. The Pats actually exceeded their lofty win total last season by going 13-3 and haven’t won fewer than 12 games in a season since 2009. They’ll welcome wide receiver Julian Edelman back from an ACL injury and filled a few holes with a solid (if somewhat unexpected) draft haul.