And while injuries hamstrung them late in the year, and a hopeless performance by their offense doomed them in a postseason loss to Pittsburgh - at home, no less - coach Andy Reid still felt his team was on the precipice of going much deeper. "He flourished in the Patriots' system and showed toughness fighting through injuries", Price says.
The commissioner watched the game not from Kraft's suite, as he did in a preseason game that was his first Patriots game since "Deflategate", but from another luxury box, the National Football League said.
The 19-year-old flew in from his home state of Washington to attend Thursday's game.
With Brady and Bill Belichick back for yet another season, New England is a heavy favorite to repeat. Alex Smith is still motivated in part by the belief that Jim Harbaugh's decision to go with Colin Kaepernick in 2012 cost the 49ers a Super Bowl. Some people might not think he's worth his $135 million extension, but I would have been willing to pay him even more. Twelve percent of all future bets have come in on the Raiders, five percent higher than on the second-place Cowboys or Packers.
As a big Patriots fan I was familiar with a lot of the stories in the book, but I took away a few new nuggets, too. WR Brandin Cooks makes Patriots debut after leading Saints with 1,173 receiving yards in 2016. Can Smith stave off a potential coup at the hands of another young quarterback?
Patriots 34, Falcons 28: How many 3-28 T-shirts/hats/banners/posters do you think are going to be in the Gillette Stadium stands for this Sunday nighter? Since taking over for Drew Bledsoe as starting quarterback in 2001, Brady has evolved into the game's greatest player at pro football's most glamorous position, while starring on one of the game's most famous teams, in the era when the sport clearly surpassed baseball as our national pastime. "We had a big project to try to get things right".
The last time the two teams met was during the AFC divisional playoffs past year.
In what could very well be an early-season battle between two teams vying for the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, there's really not much else to look at here.
But Bill Belichick doesn't dwell on past success, so we won't either. The same could be said with the Jets and veteran Josh McCown.
"They have playmakers", Brady said of Kansas City's Defense at Monday's press conference. "It's fun every time I come out here".
No rest for the tired.
When will we see the rookie QBs? The Broncos are only two years removed from winning the Super Bowl and have fielded the NFL's best defense for two straight seasons. That means Lawrence Guy could play more inside, leaving Cassius Marsh, Deatrich Wise and others to eat up snaps as situational rushers. Now heading into what promises to be an electric environment in Houston, Bortles is facing a pretty huge Week 1 test.
In short, this is the preview for the upcoming season of the NFL. If Russell Wilson can stay healthy - which he really wasn't after Week 2 a year ago - we know what this team can do, but for the third straight season it looks to me like the O-line is a disaster waiting to happen, and that will cost them come playoff time. if not sooner.