3. Jimmy Garoppolo is the real deal
The Patriots did not start Tom Brady at quarterback, so Ryan Mallett had a prime opportunity to solidify his status as the No. 2 quarterback and showcase himself as a future starter since his rookie deal will expire in 2015. However, Mallett struggled greatly, and Garoppolo shined in his first preseason game. This will inevitably put him in contention for the backup quarterback job. Bill Belichick came under fire for drafting a quarterback in the second round and neglecting other needs, but Garoppolo may be the man who replaces Tom Brady when he retires. At the very least, he will be a quality backup.
2. The Broncos defense looks much better
Although one preseason game makes it hard to completely judge, the Broncos played much better defense on the Seahawks than they did in the Super Bowl. They held them to 16 points, and DeMarcus Ware sacked Russell Wilson, which is difficult to do even against a shoddy Seahawks offensive line. The additions of Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward will inevitably help the defense as well. The return of injured players like outside linebacker Von Miller and and cornerback Chris Harris doesn’t hurt either.