Well the bad news is that with Tom Brady out for the year, there's probably no way this team will win the Super Bowl.
The good news is that without having to worry about hurting the opposing teams' "feelings" by running up the score, the Patriots now have to worry about winning football games.
Last season was not an enjoyable season by any stretch of the imagination. Ignoring the overwrought spectacle that was "SpyGate", we had a team that seemed more interested in setting records and not losing than they were in winning. Even winning the Super Bowl wouldn't have changed how off putting the season had become. All of that is now out the window. Regardless of how well Matt Cassel plays under center, it will now be much harder to win games. The Pats will have to use their defensive skills and balance the run with the pass more than they had to last year.
Week one doesn't really tell you a lot. I very much doubt that the Chargers, Colts and Browns will be anywhere near as incompetent as they looked on Sunday. I also very much doubt that the Pats will be unable to compete with the Bills (who looked good on Sunday) or the Jets (whose victory over the Dolphins was suspiciously similar to the one the Pats had over the Chiefs).
Despite the mewling from the media, the road is not impossible. It's just about 10 times more difficult. Lost in the hubbub over Brady's knee was two awful fumbles by wide receivers and a maddeningly inconsistent secondary. I have a feeling these might be just as costly as Brady's departure in the long run.