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April 18, 2012

Thanks to a mediocre defense, this is a 9-7 team

Like the right front bumper on my wife's Honda, Bill Belichick's defense needed repair.

I opted for the least expensive option, a roll of duct tape. Last year, Belichick did the same and got decent but not championship level help in the bargain basement. Andre Carter and Mark Anderson were nice little parts. Neither made a difference against the Giants.

More defensive duct tape is on the way this year, too, but don't tell me Jon Fanene is all the rage.

You're talking more of the same, cheap options to hopefully boster a defense that still can't stop the pass.

Until, Bill Belichick does something big in the draft or makes a mega-splash in free agency, don't hand the Pats the AFC East.

With the schedule officially announced yesterday, I see the Pats a 9-7 bunch, sneaking their way into the playoffs as a wild card.

Here's how:

Sept. 9, at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Right out of the chute, the tone is set. Jake Locker throws for 400 and four TDs. All that promise of the preseason gets wiped away as the Pats fall on the road,

Sept. 16, host Arizona, 1 p.m.

Gronk and Co. make up for a less than stellar opener. The offense makes Arizona quit early as the Cards traditionally never travel east well. This one has Pats fans making their playoff plans. I'm just not sold.

Sept. 23, at Baltimore, 8:20 p.m.

If those fakers in Baltimore, those gag artists who handed away the AFC title game, don't embarrass your Patriots on national TV, I'll eat the newspaper you're reading right now. Talk about lock city. Ray Lewis and Co., frauds to the nth degree, take care of business when it matters not. Big deal.

Sept. 30, at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

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