The Patriots won the fourth Super Bowl in franchise history and their first since 2004. If they were to repeat in 2015, they would become the first NFL champions to repeat since they did it as a franchise in 2003 and 2004. It will be a tougher road in 2015 as the Patriots lost several big pieces this offseason such as cornerback Darrelle Revis, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and running backs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. However, as long as they still have quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick they’ll be in contention.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY SportsKyle Terada
Who starts the season at quarterback?
The Patriots don’t exactly know who will be available to play at quarterback to start the season. Tom Brady's four-game suspension because of his alleged role in Deflategate was upheld. If Brady keeps fighting, he may be able start the season at quarterback. However, if he loses the appeal, second year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo should get his first significant NFL action.
Jim Davis/The Boston Globe
How do the Patriots replace Vince Wilfork?
Vince Wilfork was a major piece to the Patriots’ success for the last decade but now he will be playing for the Houston Texans in 2015. Who fills the massive hole left behind by him in the middle of the defense? The Patriots will look for their last two first round picks to step up in 2015. Second year man Dominique Easley and rookie Malcom Brown will likely get first crack at replacing Wilfork. If they can’t do it, then the Patriots will rely on Sealver Siliga, Chris Jones and Joe Vellano.
Getty ImagesMichael DeHoog/Sports Imagery
Who emerges at the cornerback position?
Last season, the cornerback position was one of the team’s strengths. As they enter 2015, it appears to be one of their biggest weaknesses. Gone are their top four cornerbacks in Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard. Who will start in their place? The Patriots will have to decide between Logan Ryan, Bradley Fletcher, Malcolm Butler, Robert McClain and several others to replace Revis and company.
Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Who emerges at running back?
While the Patriots still have LeGarrette Blount on the roster, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen have moved on to other teams in 2015. Ridley was a tough runner while Vereen played a big part in the passing game. Do the Patriots continue to operate with a running back by committee in 2015? If so, Brandon Bolden, Jonas Gray, and James White could figure into the rotation. If not, it would appear that Blount would emerge as the workhorse in the backfield.