More or less? 12 wins for Pats

ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton projects win totals for each NFL team, dissecting every schedule and potential pitfalls along the way. His projection for the Patriots: 12-4, which had AFC East reporter James Walker playing the "more or less" game.

The 12-win total ties with the Packers for the highest Clayton's projections.

"On paper, this year's team should be even better than the 2011 version," Clayton opines.

OUR TAKE: Back in April, in our annual we'll-laugh-at-you-later season predictions (link here), the projection was 13-3 for the Patriots. And that was before the Ravens (a game penciled in as a loss) learned they'd be without game-changing outside linebacker Terrell Suggs. That was also before a draft in which the Patriots went almost exclusively defensive, which was the primary need (link here). So given all those factors, there's no desire to move off the 13-3 pick at this time. The Patriots look loaded and ready to contend.