The first game is now less than a week away as the New England Patriots get ready to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here are some statistic predictions for the skill positions on the 2017 Patriots offense.
QB Tom Brady / Projection: 401/624 (64%), 4,824 yards, 45 touchdowns, 6 interceptions
This roster is filled with so many weapons that it could give the group in The Expendables a run for its money.
In an offense that rivals the 2007 personnel, Tom Brady could be in line for another MVP season which would be a first for any quarterback at the age of 40.
Unlike last season, he has a full 16 game season and will indeed take advantage of the four added games to pad his stats and the odds are with him to have a breakout year for any player that has ever played into their 40’s.
RB Mike Gillislee / Projection: 220 carries, 867 yards, 6 touchdowns/12 receptions, 122 yards, 1 touchdown
Who will replace LeGarrette Blount as the lead bell cow? Look no further than former Buffalo Bill running back Mike Gillislee.
Gillislee is going to do the bulk of the work as the 1st down running back and will exhibit more versatility than Blount as he has more speed and experience catching the ball.
The stars are lined for a career year for LeSean McCoy’s former sidekick.
RB James White / Projection: 30 carries, 127 yards, 2 touchdowns/58 receptions, 490 yards, 5 touchdowns
The former Wisconsin Badger’s strength is running the ball out of the backfield, but catching the ball in the flat or in the slot.
James White will get a carry here and there and he may score on a toss play or two. But like last year, his action is going to come when the Patriots are in shotgun and in need of another quick target.
While he’s less likely to hit the 60 catch mark because of the surplus of weapons, he is still a formidable opponent to any linebacker or safety lining up against him as a receiver.
White will shine again this year.
WR Chris Hogan / Projection: 62 receptions, 867 yards, 8 touchdowns, 7.2 yards per catch
Another former Buffalo Bill Chris Hogan is looking to improve on his first outing last season while taking Edelman’s reps with him in tow.
America is the land of opportunity and football is no exception. Hogan will make the most of his opportunities and will be yet another Patriot who has a career season.
WR Brandin Cooks / Projection: 102 receptions, 1,470 yards, 9 touchdowns, 13.5 yards per catch
The one everyone has their eyes on. Brandin Cooks is the receiver that is going to see the biggest jump out of all Patriots wide receivers and key weapons.
Cooks will also take advantage of Edelman’s injury by being the first look on most plays coming from outside the numbers and possibly when he moves into the slot.
With his speed and his ability to create an average of two yards separation between him and cornerbacks he faces, Cooks will be a formidable foe and one of Brady’s most trusted targets this season and beyond.
TE Rob Gronkowski / Projection: 73 receptions, 1,165 yards, 12 touchdowns
The big guy is back and he needs no introduction. Though he suffered what seemed like his 70th injury, Rob Gronkowski looked as healthy and ready as ever to take the field.
Gronkowski not only helps in the passing game, his blocking at the tight end position is among the league’s best and will help any of the Patriots tail backs running to the weak side.
The biggest threat will be in the red zone where most of the damage will be done to opposing defenses as one of the all-time great tight ends has the height of a tight end and the speed of an oversized receiver.