After taking a look at this year’s NFL Previews, it seems Tom Brady and the Patriots are the predicted runner-ups behind Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos heading into the 2013 Regular Season.


Walking through the grocery store over the past month I’ve been enjoying the annual ritual of acquiring and reading about what the national publications have had to say about¬†the upcoming 2013 New England Patriots season.

Seeing the magazines hit newsstands signifies the start of the countdown to a new season. ¬†It’s a great time to get a glimpse of what the national publications think of this team compared to the rest of the league, and always gets me fired up for the start of training camp. ¬†As we know, every year will contain some interesting new story lines and – hopefully – some exciting moments that will potentially include yet another championship run.

For those of you who have yet to purchase yours, I‚Äôve collected four of them and thought I‚Äôd share information with all of you to let you know what‚Äôs being said by each of this year’s editions.

Needless to say, here we go:

ATHLON 2013 EDITION:

Patriots Playoff Prediction: #2 Playoff Seed in the AFC
AFC East Prediction: 1st Place
Patriots Preview Starts on Page: 68

Super Bowl Prediction (winner in Bold): 49ers + Broncos

Additional Notes:¬†Athlon’s script for the Patriots includes one of heartbreak for New England fans, and to add insult to injury it comes at the hands of Peyton Manning and Wes Welker. ¬†They predict that the Broncos defeat Tom Brady’s group in the AFC Championship game, increasing New England’s championship drought during the final years of the veteran quarterback’s era with the team.

Other predictions include the Houston Texans over the Indianapolis Colts, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Bengals in the Wild Card round, followed by the Denver Broncos over the Steelers, and the Patriots over the Texans in the Divisional Round.

Recommended Reading:

Playoffs or Bust in ‘Big D’ – Page 14
Adrian Peterson: Quest for 2,500 – Page 16
The Read Option Has taken the NFL by Storm ‚Äď Page 20
2003 NFL Draft Revisited ‚Äď Page 34


Wes Welker and the Broncos appear to be the favorites in the AFC in 2013. (FILE:USPresswire)

LINDY’S 2013 EDITION:

Patriots Playoff Prediction: Ousted in the Divisional Round
AFC East Prediction: 1st Place
Patriots Preview Starts on Page: 146

Super Bowl Prediction (winner in Bold): Broncos + Packers

Additional Notes: ¬†Lindy’s predicts the Patriots to once again win the AFC East, but they predict a short playoff run and have the Broncos defeating the Houston Texans in the AFC Championship game to advance to – and win – the Super Bowl. ¬†Other interesting notes include the fact that they surprisingly expect the Bills to finish second in the division ahead of the Dolphins, who most expect to be a much stronger team and to finish right behind New England. ¬†So the fact they feel so positive about Buffalo should leave most Bills fans feeling a little more optimistic heading into this season.

One theme seems to be consistent throughout most of these is the fact everyone seriously questions the loss of Wes Welker and Lindy’s doesn’t shy away from that. ¬†They ask the question, “How do you replace a guy who averaged 112 catches a year during his six seasons in New England while missing only three games? ¬†Answer: You don’t. ¬†You just don’t.”

Recommended Reading:

The Read Option: Is it a Fad, or Here to Stay? – Page 14
Flacco the Unflappable – Page 18
Sidelines 2013 ‚Äď Page 130 (Cheerleaders – enough said)

SPORTING NEWS 2013 EDITION

Patriots Playoff Prediction: Ousted in the AFC Championship Game
AFC East Prediction: 1st Place
Patriots Preview Starts on Page: 26

Super Bowl Prediction (winner in Bold): Seahawks + Broncos

Additional Notes: Color me surprised to open up this edition only to see that they expect the Seattle Seahawks to walk away with the Lombardi trophy. ¬†Once again, like the other magazines, Sporting News expects the Broncos to send the Patriots home just shy of a Super Bowl in the AFC Championship game and have them as the AFC favorites. ¬†The preview is written by Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe, and includes individual grades of each position including a B+ for the wide receivers – which is generous compared to others considering it’s an area seriously questioned by most of the other publications. However, since she’s in the locker room and around the players it’s not a surprise considering she would have a better idea about each of these players compared to a non-local writer.

Meanwhile they have the Dolphins as the team expected to finish behind the Patriots in the AFC East, with the Bills listed third and the Jets predicted to finish last.

Recommended Reading:

Top 10 Storylines to Watch – Page 6
QB Recycling: A Poor Waste-Management System – Page 20


PROFOOTBALL WEEKLY 2013 EDITION:

Patriots Playoff Prediction: Not listed – but they’re expected to win the Division
AFC East Prediction: 1st Place
Patriots Preview Starts on Page: 34

Super Bowl Prediction (winner in Bold): 49ers + Broncos

Additional Notes: ¬†I’d be remiss if I didn’t express my disappointment and sadness about the fact this may be Pro Football Weekly’s final edition after a recent “Good bye” post letting us know they’ll be shuttering the publication. ¬†I’ve been reading their stuff since I was little (they’ve been around since 1967) and have been following their advancements online with their site since I first started my own site back in 1997. ¬†So it’s disappointing to hear they’re shutting down, and it appears there will be one less edition here next year.

As for what they’re saying, they – like everyone else – expect the Patriots to win the AFC East with a record of 11-5, while Miami will be right behind them with a record of 9-7. ¬†However, they also expect the championship drought to continue and have Manning and Welker winning the AFC. ¬†One interesting note, they write that, “on paper, this could be one of Bill Belichick’s best defenses, especially with Aqib Talib in the secondary and a front seven as young and talented as New England’s.” ¬†Comparing them to the players during the Patriots championship years makes that a tough sentence to completely agree with, unless of course this group comes together to start the creation of a new era here in New England. ¬†One can only hope that ends up being the case.

Recommended Reading:

Player Rankings 2013 – Page 16