Dec 22, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) is sacked by New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots defense is better than their offense?

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The Patriots are built backwards this year. Typically known for a devastating passing attack, the Patriots made only one addition to their passing attack this offseason with Brandon LaFell. Meanwhile, they stocked up on defensive free agents, particularly in the secondary. They also have key veterans returning from injury.

CSN New England host of Early Edition, Gary Tanguay sung Jerod Mayo’s praises on July 4. Mayo missed much of the season with a torn pectoral.

“Personally, I developed a new appreciation for Jerod Mayo … Perhaps I didn’t appreciate what he did. [Absence] makes the heart grow fonder because we missed him last year,” He said, then added later, “This is the worst offense going into a season since Reche Caldwell had the Elvis on the helmet.”

He introduces an interesting dichotomy that’s irregular for New England. There is a lot to be said for this defense. They have the potential to be incredibly good. On paper, they look intimidating. The Patriots offense is quite the opposite. Their biggest threat, Rob Gronkowski has missed much of the last two seasons with injuries. It’s unclear how much he will play and how effective he will be. Their leading pass catcher, Julian Edelman couldn’t net a bigger deal than $19 million in the open market. Danny Amendola has a constant case of the injury bug.

That doesn’t mean they won’t surprise the NFL. There is a lot of young potential, but that potential has not manifested to anything just yet. With three rookie receivers in Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce playing a big role, the woes of the offense were often excused as growing pains last season. They won’t have that luxury in 2014.

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