Analyst sees 16-0 in Pats' future

In a recent preview piece on CBSSports.com, NFL Columnist Pete Prisco projects the Patriots to record an undefeated regular season in 2012.

His pick is part of a comprehensive season preview courtesy of the CBSSports.com NFL staff, and also includes an X’s and O’s breakdown and an overview of the team’s key personnel changes this offseason.

Beyond his pick for a 16-0 record, Prisco also believes Tom Brady will throw for 4,949 yards, while slot man Wes Welker will rack up over 1,450 yards receiving.

The Patriots look to be strong on offense again in 2012, a year after Brady and Welker helped architect amongst the most potent offenses in all of football.

Other angles examined in the piece include a look at “X Factor” Vince Wilfork, a question about whether Rob Gronkowski can return to health and major production after last year’s record-setting season, a draft recap, the role of Stevan Ridley, and insight into Wes Welker and his contract situation.

With 16 projected wins, Prisco has the Patriots running away with the AFC East crown, topping the Jets by seven wins. In 2007, when the Patriots finished the regular season unblemished, they won the AFC West by nine games over the Buffalo Bills.