Which Patriots team is your all-time favorite?
2012: Great expectations
Expectations were sky-high for Tom Brady and the Patriots at the start of the 2012 season. The prospects of having a healthy Rob Gronkowski, Stevan Ridley being elevated to the No. 1 running back, new acquisition Brandon Lloyd at wide receiver, and Josh McDaniels back as offensive coordinator had many fans and pundits anticipating the possibility of New England going undefeated with what looked like a relatively easy schedule. On the defensive side, rookies Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower came on board and infused new energy while old stalwarts Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo were back to lead a D that badly needed a rebound after ranking near the bottom of the league just one season ago.