There are weaknesses. The Pats are thin at defensive end, where they’ll hope Trey Flowers continues to develop into an above-average pass-rusher. There’s not much depth along the interior of their offensive line. Everyone has problems, though, and the other 31 teams would kill to have New England’s minor issues as their most pressing concerns. The Patriots aren’t perfect. They might just be good enough, though, to finish with a perfect record.
Meanwhile, the Falcons have a new stadium this season. The early reviews are mostly positive (lots of additional info here), though there are some problems with the retractable roof, which won’t be able to open for at least the first few games of the season.
After eight seasons of having players wear pink accessories during October to raise awareness of breast cancer, the NFL is taking a more diversified approach this season. Teams will now be able to designate a specific anti-cancer initiative to promote during a three-week period in October. The Packers, for example, have announced that they’ll be raising funds for the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation. It’s not yet clear whether teams will wear colored accessories for these games, but the early indications are that they will not, at least for 2017. Additional info here.
Although there has been no official announcement, expect to see the league’s other well-established monthlong uniform promotion — camouflage trim to salute the military in November — rolled out once again.
There has also been no official announcement about a reprise of last year’s “My Cause, My Cleats” promotion, in which players were permitted to wear custom footwear designs devoted to various charities in Week 13. But that initiative was popular with players and fans, so it’s likely to be revived for 2017.