Big test for the Patriots

Charlie Weis? Gone.

Romeo Crennel? Gone.

Tedy Bruschi? Gone.

Ted Johnson? Gone.

Rodney Harrison? Gone.

Todd Light? Gone for most, if not all, of the season.

Kevin Faulk? Gone, reportedly for eight weeks with a leg injury.

I tell you what — if the Patriots win the Super Bowl this year after all the losses they’ve been faced with, Canton should welcome Bill Belichick and Tom Brady right after the game. The AFC East may not be the best division in football, and the Jets and Bills have their own injury concerns, but at this point, would it surprise anyone to see the Patriots miss out on the playoffs?

On the other hand, would it really surprise anyone to see New England overcome the odds and obstacles and wind up in position to win another Super Bowl? Not after what we’ve seen from Belichick, Brady and Co. the past few years.

We’re about to learn just how great this team really is. Most teams couldn’t withstand the loss of their starting left tackle, but along with losing Light, the Pats are trying to overcome the losses of their offensive and defensive coordinators, a starting linebacker, a third-down back, and two team leaders (and excellent players) in Harrison and Bruschi.

Maybe my preseason prediction of the Pats being overrated was accurate after all. Then again, maybe they’ll make me look foolish for ever doubting them.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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