In my opinion the Pats are the team to beat in the AFC East this season. Here's a summary of what they've done thus far. 1. New England Patriots Key departures: Front office - Scott Pioli. OC - Josh McDaniels. Players - Matt Cassel QB, Ellis Hobbs CB, Deltha O'Neal CB, Rodney Harrison S, Mike Vrabel OLB, Jabar Gaffney WR, Kelly Washington WR, Lamont Jordan RB, Paxton LS Key additions: Free agents - Fred Taylor RB, Shawn Springs CB, Leigh Bodden CB, Chris Baker TE, Joey Galloway WR, McGowan S Trades - Greg Lewis WR, Alex Smith TE Draft - Patrick Chung SS, Ron Brace NT, Darius Butler CB, Vollmer OT, Brandon Tate WR, Tyrone McKenzie ILB, Ingram LS Returning Player: Tom Brady QB Analysis: The Patriots improve immediately at the most important position in the game, QB. Brady had a record breaking performance in 2007. Not only does the offense retain Moss and Welker, but it got rid of Gaffney and Washington in favor of veteran deep threat Galloway and a talented rookie Tate who is a threat both in the kick return game and the receiving game. Fred Taylor easily is an upgrade over Jordan and improves on the Pats already solid RB stable. The Pats completely overhauled their secondary, getting rid of last year's failures and replacing them with veterans Springs and Bodden while adding a promising pair of rookies in Butler and Chung. The defensive line gains additional depth and bulk in the form of rookie Ron Brace and McKenzie looks to add young depth at the ILB position. The only position that hasn't been addressed is OLB. On both sides of the ball, the Pats look to have one of the deepest teams in the league save for that position. Prediction: The Patriots should finish with 13 wins or better in the regular season which should be good enough to earn a playoff bye and win the AFC East. Look for the Pats loaded offense to score a lot of points and the upgraded defense to give up less points and show marked improvement on passing third downs.