The draft has drafted. The lockout has unlocked. The Free Agents are un-freeing themselves. It's all happening so quick, and I haven't even looked at the schedule yet.
Overall a good draft for the Pats, a very solid "rebuilding" year to come off and significantly less questions then most AFC contenders. Obviously Free Agent signings or resigns could alter some of these games but not too much I don't think.
2011-2012 schedule outlook v.1 post Johnny Demp/21 Jumpstree
The 1st quarter:
9/12 @ MIA in primetime
9/18 vs SD, CBS national game
9/25 @ BUF, 1pm
10/01 @ OAK, late game
Good to play Miami early based on their personnel, bad based on weather. Should be a W but crazy things happen in that heat. Not crazy enough for the fish though. Similarly good to play the Chargers early in the season, as they still trend as a late bloomer to me. Also, Norv Turner.
Maybe someday Buffalo, but not today. Oakland....this game screams trap game with the Jets in week 5. But BB eats traps for breakfast and Tommy loves playing near home.
** I see 4-0 pretty comfortably in the first Q
10/09 vs Jests
10/16 vs Dal
10/30 @ Pit CBS National game
11/06 vs NYG Fox National game
This is where it gets interesting. October 9th's game is going to be very interesting and a lot of it will depend on where the Jets go with free agency. Need to sign 2 WRs and a corner, and the options at both positions are multiple. They should do okay, and that means trouble again for NE. Not in week 5, I think the Pats get the W, but the Jets will be very tough all year. Dallas maybe in Dallas would scare me, but this team seems like it's in for a messy year. I like Garrett but their running game and D are big, big Q's.
Great time for a bye, given the next two games.
Brady loves playing in da burgh, and I think this is still a favorable match up for the Pats - but this is a 50-50 game at best I think right now. With the Giants, I think they can be had, especially when they are on the road. But it's really hard to figure this team out. They have solid potential but don't seem to put it together for a full season...yet.
** I feel 3-1 is achievable here but 2-2 is possible as there are two tough games and two games that feel dangerously easy right now.
11/13 @ Jests Sunday night game
11/21 vs Chefs Monday night game
11/27 @ Iggles, late game
12/04 vs Colts, Sunday night game
And we turn another quarter to find the Jets waiting for Old Tommy and co. Second match up is in NY this year and it being a Sunday night game creates a fairly hellacious home field advantage - even in the new PSL laced stadium. Jets are too good to be swept this year I think, so it's either here or week 5, I'm saying it's here.
The Chefs seem like a paper giant this year, a lot of expectations coming from last year and I don't think they've got enough to repeat that success just yet. If Weiss was still there it could be more interesting, but even then I don't see them traveling into the razor and stealing a W. Especially without Bernard.
These next two are HUGE games. At Philly - Vick could be dead by this point in the season the way he plays - or - he could be close to 1 grand on the floor at 2 grand through the air - who knows. It's a big play offense against a Pats D that still seems susceptible to giving them up. Then it's a blitzing defense against a spread offense that treats blitzes like rented mules. It's going 12 rounds in Philly.
With the Colts...I'm less worried about Indy this year, unless they do something magical in Free Agency. I don't see them getting much better from last year to this, I think Manning will be fine but not enough around him currently. It'll be a shoot out but not too close of one. Pats D is better this time around.
**I think 2-2 out of the 3rd Q is great, and 1-3 is just as likely as 3-1
12/11 @ Skins, 1pm
12/18 @ Den
12/24 vs MIA
01/01 vs Buf
Pats get to finish comfortably here. Road games are never easy, especially late in the season in places like Mile High, but both these teams have quaterback issues and that's sort of a big deal in the NFL. Miami and Buffalo at home are great games for the Pats to look toward wrapping up a playoff seed as both are very winnable this time of year in the razor.
** I see another 4-0 final Q for Bill and the boys.
13-3 / 12-4 seems quite possible for the Pats this year, at least as of current rosters and such.
In looking quickly at the Jets schedule it's similarly tough, with a few notes:
- Jets host Jax, Pats host Colts. Only thing that's worrisome for the Jets is that they play the Jags in week 2, so anything could happen. Advantage Jets.
- Jet finish with a somewhat more difficult schedule @philly, vs Giants, @mia. I don't think either the Pats or Jets are going to fade early and the final quarter of the season seems to clearly benefit the Pats.
East Crown and 1st round bye are there for the taking.
Anyone else have thoughts?
PS - Good Luck in N'Awlines Mark.