The New England Patriots are all geared up to avenge what was a horrid 7-9 season last year, as they will enter the preseason with tons of new faces and moving parts following their free-agent shopping spree.
Most of the attention has been placed squarely on the quarterback competition, as fans and skeptics will be watching with bated breath to see how veteran starter Cam Newton performs with first-round choice Mac Jones looking over his shoulder and trying to usher in a new era.
Even if the quarterback quandary was removed from the equation, this is not a roster that is ready to dominate right out of the gate.
There are major holes and questions that remain either unplugged or unsolved, and they could have an impact on the win-loss record if not attended to.
While the quarterback dichotomy is obviously what deserved the most attention this season, these three issues could come back to bite New England in the butt if they don’t resolve them in a timely fashion.
3 preseason problems the Patriots will face that aren’t getting attention
3. Lack of Clarity at Wide Receiver
The Patriots had one of the most laughable collections of talent at wide receiver last year, and it was without a doubt a huge factor in Newton’s regression. The signings of Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne will go a long way towards fixing that, but there is still plenty of uncertainty at that spot.
Bourne was brought in from San Francisco due to his route-running expertise, but that apparently hasn’t done a ton to win the team over, as Jakobi Meyers ranked ahead of him on their first unofficial depth chart. What does this say about his standing with the team?
What will the Patriots look like at wide receiver?
Additionally, while Agholor was able to have a breakout year with the Raiders, is he capable of handling No. 1 wide receiver work in New England? Sure, Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith are here, but until Agholor gets on the field, he will have these questions hanging over him.
What does the depth look like? Is Meyers a starter or depth piece? Will N’Keal Harry carve out a role with the starters? Could an unheralded player like Marvin Hall or Tre Nixon steal some snaps away? Hopefully, their preseason opener provides some answers to these riddles.