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Where will the Patriots finish in the AFC East? #ForeverNE

The free agency and the draft have ended, and now the 32 teams are preparing for training camp and pre-season. The Patriots are looking to achieve back-to-back playoffs with a more balanced team than last year.

Mac Jones will be leading the line once again and had a staller season as a rookie and was picked in the pro bowl as a replacement. They have boosted their offence mainly in the draft. They chose Cole Strange, left Guard, as their first pick and other offensive players in the draft’s later rounds. Surrounding the team with more youth but adding a little bit of experience will bring a good balance for Marc Jones, and the receiver’s core is more explosive than last year's receivers.

The defense side of the ball is where the focus will be on. Bill Belichick is a defensive guru and getting a rough diamond player is not an issue for Belichick. He doesn’t need a high caliber player to make a considerable impact; he needs players who fit the system and, most importantly, do their job correctly. They have lost a few free agency players, most notably last year’s breakthrough player J. C. Jackson, who signed a big contract with the LA Chargers. Even without Jackson, he is replaceable, and the players Belichick drafted the cornerbacks will hit the ground running and become a star in the defense.

Where will the Patriots finish?

I believe the Patriots will finish second in the AFC East, just like last season. The best team in the division is the Buffalo Bills, and they are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl this season. The Bills are the team to beat in the AFC East; with Josh Allen getting better every year and star quality on both sides of the ball, they are becoming a dangerous team. This off-season, the Jets and Dolphins have improved their squad, but they don’t have the quarterbacks to take them to the next level. Will the Patriots make it to the playoffs? That is a different conversation for another day, but for now, they are the second-best team in the AFC East unless the Bills suffer a colossal disaster that will turn their season upside down.