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Samsonite Make Your Case: Who gets top billing?

For years the Patriots offense has been one of the best in the league if not the best. With Tom Brady running the show, New England has been among the league leaders in points score annually for the better part of the past decade.

But Brady will not be on the field to start the season and there are some injury concerns as well. Jimmy Garoppolo will start and he will be dealing with an offensive line coming off a very difficult season and injuries to Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola that caused both to miss the entire preseason. Julian Edelman is also dealing with problems stemming from multiple foot surgeries, so it's not exactly like the new guy is operating from a position of strength.

However, Brady will be back in Week 5 and it appears as if most if not all of the offensive weapons will be ready to go to start the season. Therefore the offense should be its potent self - even if it takes a little time to get there.

It's quite possible that there are fewer concerns on defense, at least at the start of the season. The unit is loaded with versatile play-makers who swarm to the ball and take the ball away - something the defense did 10 times during the preseason. The performance has many excited over the prospect of having a legitimate top-five defense.

So this week's Samsonite Make Your Case question is: Which side of the ball do you feel will be the Patriots strength in 2016?

80x80-andy-hart-headshot-2015.png

For years the Patriots offense has been one of the best in the league if not the best. With Tom Brady running the show, New England has been among the league leaders in points score annually for the better part of the past decade.

But Brady will not be on the field to start the season and there are some injury concerns as well. Jimmy Garoppolo will start and he will be dealing with an offensive line coming off a very difficult season and injuries to Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola that caused both to miss the entire preseason. Julian Edelman is also dealing with problems stemming from multiple foot surgeries, so it's not exactly like the new guy is operating from a position of strength.

However, Brady will be back in Week 5 and it appears as if most if not all of the offensive weapons will be ready to go to start the season. Therefore the offense should be its potent self - even if it takes a little time to get there.

It's quite possible that there are fewer concerns on defense, at least at the start of the season. The unit is loaded with versatile play-makers who swarm to the ball and take the ball away - something the defense did 10 times during the preseason. The performance has many excited over the prospect of having a legitimate top-five defense.

So this week's Samsonite Make Your Case question is: Which side of the ball do you feel will be the Patriots strength in 2016?

80x80-andy-hart-headshot-2015.png

PFW's Andy Hart says ...

OFFENSE

eaf4696aee2d4ae1acc5a70e7dc474f6.jpg

I know there are concerns about the offense after an at times rocky preseason, but has everyone forgotten about the quarterback waiting in the wings? Tom Brady led the league in touchdown passes last season and he'll be back in October looking to make someone pay for his suspension. That someone will be the poor opponents on the schedule. Brady has all of his normal weapons like Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola plus additional ones such as Martellus Bennett and Chris Hogan. He'll also have plenty of motivation to torch the league that has unjustly forced him to sit out four games. Brady will be making statements each and every week, and those will be heard in NFL locales all across the league. Until proven otherwise, the offense gets top billing over the defense in New England.
- AH

80x80-paul-perillo-headshot-2015.png

PFW's Paul Perillo says ...

DEFENSE

293f1b16bafa4095b68f098e2b7d0f14.jpg

After several years of trying it looks like Bill Belichick may finally have the kind of young, athletic, play-making defense he's been craving. He's spent a lot of draft resources finding the kind of versatility that he can use to torment opponents, and we started to see the fruits of that approach last season. In 2016 that will only increase. Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower are entering contract seasons and will be motivated to position themselves to cash in big in the offseason. Those two allow the coaches to disguise their intentions effectively and it will create havoc for opposing offenses. The front seven has a nice blend of big, stout run-stuffers and quicker penetrating-type players. In the secondary Malcolm Butler is poised for stardom and he will lead a much-improved pass defense. This has all the makings on a top-five unit. 
- PP

Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.

[wysifield-embeddedpoll|eid="468461"|type="embeddedpoll"|view_mode="full"]

PFW's Andy Hart says ...

OFFENSE

eaf4696aee2d4ae1acc5a70e7dc474f6.jpg

I know there are concerns about the offense after an at times rocky preseason, but has everyone forgotten about the quarterback waiting in the wings? Tom Brady led the league in touchdown passes last season and he'll be back in October looking to make someone pay for his suspension. That someone will be the poor opponents on the schedule. Brady has all of his normal weapons like Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola plus additional ones such as Martellus Bennett and Chris Hogan. He'll also have plenty of motivation to torch the league that has unjustly forced him to sit out four games. Brady will be making statements each and every week, and those will be heard in NFL locales all across the league. Until proven otherwise, the offense gets top billing over the defense in New England.
- AH

80x80-paul-perillo-headshot-2015.png

PFW's Paul Perillo says ...

DEFENSE

293f1b16bafa4095b68f098e2b7d0f14.jpg

After several years of trying it looks like Bill Belichick may finally have the kind of young, athletic, play-making defense he's been craving. He's spent a lot of draft resources finding the kind of versatility that he can use to torment opponents, and we started to see the fruits of that approach last season. In 2016 that will only increase. Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower are entering contract seasons and will be motivated to position themselves to cash in big in the offseason. Those two allow the coaches to disguise their intentions effectively and it will create havoc for opposing offenses. The front seven has a nice blend of big, stout run-stuffers and quicker penetrating-type players. In the secondary Malcolm Butler is poised for stardom and he will lead a much-improved pass defense. This has all the makings on a top-five unit. 
- PP

Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.

[wysifield-embeddedpoll|eid="468461"|type="embeddedpoll"|view_mode="full"]

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