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Patriots’ Strength Of Schedule .498%
The NFL released its schedule for the 2022 season. The usual suspects hog the primetime spotlight, but that deserves an entirely different post. Let’s focus on New England’s road to the Lombardi.
At first glance, it could be worse. There is a healthy mix of easy and difficult matchups. It may be too soon to make predictions, but who cares? Let’s dive into it!
Week One: Dolphins @ Miami
Yikes. Brutal way to kick off the season. The Patriots, historically, do not play their best football in Miami. Well, Brady didn’t.
As of now, it will be a close game. Both teams made some upgrades throughout the offseason, including one receiver seeking revenge on his former squad.
The Pats struggle early on but eventually find a way to win. Miami’s defense is still not better than New England. They’ve shut down Tua before and will do it to open things up. Tyreek Hill may be an issue, but not enough to affect the final score.
Pats win 21-17 with a late-game finish.
Week Two: Steelers
Pickett or Trubisky. Paper or plastic. The answer is the same. Doesn’t matter.
The Steel curtain defense strikes fear in their opponents, but their offense makes them laugh. The Steelers are going through a rebuild, while the Pats are ready to make a deep playoff run. Pats dominate this one by a score of 24-10.
Week Three: Ravens
Sorry, Patriots nation, but here comes the first loss of the season. Ravens have a lot to prove this season. Lamar will be a problem for the team with the roster’s current state. The Pats’ defense cannot keep up with his ability to escape pressure to move the ball downfield unless serious adjustments have been made.
The Pats notoriously struggle against the run; the only thing Ravens do well. Rashod Bateman leads the team in touchdowns with three. Also, the additions the Ravens made in the offseason to the secondary will give Mac a problem kicking off the season.
No one can forget Mark Andrews, who would also pose problems for the New England defense as it is currently constituted.
Ravens win easily 31-13.
Week Four: Packers
It’s tough to win at Lambeau, but the Packers are not the same team from a year ago. Their defense is still solid, especially with the extension of Jaire Alexander, but the Pats’ run game will be crucial to victory. Harris and Stevenson are going to be the reason for winning.
Rodgers struggles against NE, with a record of 1-2. Not an elite stat line if you ask me. Now fans can measure the fact that his top target, and maybe the top target in the entire league, and decide if Rodgers becomes more vulnerable.
I guess time will tell us. But my prediction is Pats steal this one 17-10.
Week Five: Lions
The Lions hold a special place in my heart. Their climb back into relevancy has been filled with obstacles and obstructions, unlike any team has seen. Dan Campbell is the only one who has a chance against the Sith Lord. He will have his boys bite a kneecap off if need be.
Goff will get revenge for Super Bowl with performance, showing off his new toys in DJ Chark and Amon-Ra St. Brown. But D’Andre Swift will make the difference on the ground.
The Pats’ defense struggled to contain Kerryon Johnson last time out (first 100 rushers since 2012). So Swift will eat in this contest.
Mac and O will play well, but not enough to win. 31-28 upset in Gillette; this will be a turning point for the Patriots’ season.
Week Six: Browns
Everyone loves the Browns with the addition of Watson this season. They’ll be solid, just not this week.
The Browns have always been a team Belichick plays well against. But, in two meetings, they’ve walked out of Foxboro with their tails tucked in between their thighs.
The two-headed monster in the backfield, Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, will cause problems, but not enough to make a difference. Instead, it feels like a game where the defense takes their play to a new level. Constantly applying pressure on Watson gives them the win. 41-24 final score to the home team.
Week Seven: Da Bears
Yes, it may feel like a trap game, but not to this guy. Belichick foams at the mouth over inexperienced QBs. He loves finding different ways to exploit their weaknesses.
The supporting cast of Chicago’s offense is suspect behind Justin Fields, he may have a hard time dealing with the pressure applied by Belichick and the Patriots.
The Bears need a lot of work before making a run at the playoffs. Their defense is solid, but Mac will have no issues getting through them. Easy 42-7 win before heading to the Big Apple.
Week Eight: Jets
Spooky things happen on Halloween weekend. Ghosts will return to haunt Zach Wilson.
We’ve reached the portion of the season where the Pats begin to cook. It will not be a blowout like past experiences, but I do not think the Jets will be soaring after this win. Their draft will make an impact, but teams win games. New England’s football team wins this one by 28-13.
Week Nine: Colts
This is usually the part of the season where Pats nation believes the team is unstoppable. Super Bowl, here we come! Not quite.
Matt Ryan? Didn’t he choke away a super bowl against us? He did and is out for revenge. Ryan and Colts come into Gillette and wreak havoc. When Matt Ryan throws his third touchdown to Michael Pittman in the 2nd quarter, Jonathan Taylor will be the least of their worries.
The Colts’ defense will put Mac into the ground. Darius Leonard is a maniac that cannot be tamed. He’s got a couple of friends, Yanick Nghogue and Deforest Buckner, who are just as hungry to put bodies six feet under.
A devastating 38-7 loss will have the Foxboro Faithful eating humble pie for dessert.
Week Ten: Jets (H)
Pats don’t lose back-to-back games at home. Jets want retribution but will have to wait. Pats pull out the victory in a 28-17 thriller.
Look for Kendrick Bourne to put on a show at Gillette against the Jets, Jets, Jets
Week Eleven: Vikings
Kirk Cousins stinks in primetime. The Pats do not typically do that so, the Pats win big. I can’t predict the score yet. More pieces need to fall into place before that decision is made.
I can say that this should be a very fun thanksgiving primetime game for the nation to enjoy.
Week Twelve: Bills (H)
It’s Vengeance Day at Gillette. The Patriots did not force the Bills to punt in the last two meetings against them. If I know that, Belichick has already planned for it never to happen again. It will be a war on the turf when these two powerhouses collide. Pats end up winning with late-game heroics by someone, maybe Nelson Agholor. A 14-10 victory sends everyone home happy.
Week Thirteen: Cardinals
Pats have a lot of history in Phoenix. Kyler brings the same worries as Lamar did, but not as serious. The Cardinals give me a fake contender feel. They remain unproven, so I got the Pats taking this one 24-17.
Week Fourteen: Raiders
McDaniels v Belichick II.
McDaniels has a better team than the first time around, and Derek Carr is a step up from Tebow. The Raiders will be fighting for their life in this game for a playoff spot
Belichick does not have the best record against former assistants (14-12). History repeats itself with a Raiders 35-13 victory.
Week Fifteen: Bengals
LSU v Bama NFL edition
I have zero doubt in my mind this will be the Patriots’ highest-scoring game of the season. It’s going to come down to who has the ball last.
Belichick strikes again with his game plan for Burrow/Chase. Hopefully by this stage of the season, one of the rookies steps up. Pats win in late season thriller for playoff seeding.
Mac Jones beats out Joe Burrow 42-41 because why not?
Week Sixteen: Dolphins (H)
The Dolphins looking to even the score, but the Pats are too hot of a team to allow that from happening. The cold fuels the Pats along with the home crowd. The Fins won’t have an answer. A big win for the Pats heading into playoffs 38-17 as the snow falls on the brave souls sitting in the stands.
Week Seventeen: Bills
Bills Mafia is out for blood. A week before the playoffs gives this matchup a lot more hype than already carried. Of course, it’ll be for the division. However, Allen will shine; Mac will struggle. The Patriots look like they have the game locked but will choke it away before the playoffs. Bills win 28-17.
So by my calculations, the Patriots will finish the season with a 12-5 record. This is a record that can get them into the playoffs without winning the division, which seems inevitable with the state of the Bills. It’s going to be a fun season. Buckle up.
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