STATE OF THE TEAM
The Patriots finished the 2011 season a spiffy 13-3. In doing so, they became just the third team in NFL history to win at least 10 games in nine consecutive seasons. That said, the team's second Super Bowl loss to the Giants in five years resulted in a disappointing vibe that overrides the impressive consistency, stability and success the franchise has enjoyed since the team's renaissance began in 2001. That's the year that Tom Brady took over at quarterback and the second season of coach Bill Belichick's tenure. Five Super Bowl appearances later – three of them wins – the team remains deep and talented, with Brady still going strong. Nothing lasts forever though, and the team's offseason approach, which included uncharacteristic moves to trade up in the draft, was designed to re-load for another championship run while the Brady/Belichick window is still open.
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