The NFL regular season is fast approaching and everyone is excited to see how their favorite team will do. Every game counts and with New England's schedule this year, they could very well be a playoff team once again. Now, I am not guaranteeing anything, this is all strictly based on last year and what I have seen in the offseason and preseason.
Week 1: W @Buffalo. New England should be able to win this game, especially due to the fact that Buffalo is uncertain who will be starting at the quarterback position. If they are able to stop C.J. Spiller, they should have no problem defeating the Bills.
Week 2: W vs. New York Jets. With the Jets arguably being the laughing stock of the league last year, New England should beat them with ease. The ongoing quarterback battle between Mark Sanchez and Gino Smith is causing uncertainty about how the Jets offense will be run but neither of them have the skill to overcome the New England defense.
Week 3: W vs. Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay is an up and coming team in the NFL and with having to deal with one of the toughest divisions in football, they are going to be mediocre this season. With the additions of Dashon Goldson and Darrelle Revis, they have added talent to their defense. Because it is the beginning of the season, they will not be as good as they will be later in the year and they will hang with the Patriots but I don't think they will pull out a victory.
Week 4: L @ Atlanta. The Falcons have always played well in the Georgia Dome and with the addition of RB Steven Jackson, they have only gotten better. It will be a great game, but I don't see New England getting the win this game.
Week 5: W @ Cincinnati. I think the Bengals need a few more pieces to their puzzle in order to overcome the Patriots. They finally have a solid defense and a good running game but Andy Dalton needs a little bit more experience at quarterback in order to hang with the big dogs.
Week 6: L vs. New Orleans. Drew Brees continues to be an elite quarterback in the NFL and I don't think that the Patriots have the secondary just yet to shut Brees down. If the defensive line can get to Brees they will have a chance. Overall, it will be a shootout, but New Orleans has more offensive weapons at this point.
Week 7: W @ New York Jets. Do I dare say why I think this will happen? Simply put, the Jets are a mess and until they figure things out in the big apple, they will not compete with the Patriots.
Week 8: W vs. Miami. The Miami Dolphins made a splash in the offseason signing many new faces including former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace. They have also added a couple new faces on defense. The only question is who will fill the left tackle position after Jake Long signed with the Saint Louis Rams this offseason. It is just too early in the season to say that Miami has enough team chemistry to defeat New England, especially in Gillette Stadium.
Week 9: W vs. Pittsburgh. I am not exactly sure how the Pittsburgh Steelers will be this year, and the only reason I am saying that New England will win is because they are the home team. Right now, Steelers RB Le'veon Bell has a foot injury which will cause him to miss some time, but with QB Ben Roethlisberger and a solid defense every year, you can never count the Steelers out.
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: W @ Carolina. This is New England's first, and only Monday Night game of the year. Carolina is one of the weaker teams in the NFC, but they will give New England a run for their money in this one. If New England can slow down Cam Newton and take away his number 1 receiver Steve Smith, they should be able to beat the Panthers.
Week 12: L vs. Denver. Many people have chosen the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl this year, and who could blame them. They have all the tools to do it. With the addition of Wes Welker, Peyton Manning now has 3 elite receivers to throw to, and it will most likely just be too much for the Patriots to handle during this Sunday night showdown.
Week 13: W @ Houston. I have always thought the Houston Texans were overrated. They were undefeated at one point last year but they are also in one of the weakest divisions in the NFL. Arian Foster is a very talented running back and a dual threat, but it is uncertain that he will stay healthy throughout the course of the season. The Texans will also bring back LB Brian Cushing after missing the majority of last year due to a knee injury. I just think there is too much hype for this Houston team, and they will show their true colors when they play New England, just like last year.
Week 14: W vs. Cleveland. The Cleveland Browns have always been a snake bitten franchise and nothing that has happened this offseason or preseason says to me that they will be a good team. All New England has to do is stop RB Trent Richardson and they should cruise to victory.
Week 15: L @ Miami. New England traditionally has never played well in the southern Florida sun. At this point of the season, the Miami Dolphins will be a solid team in the NFL and will possibly be fighting for a playoff spot. With most of the season under their belt and with the chemistry that they will have at this point, I just see Miami overcoming New England in this one in their push for the postseason.
Week 16: L @ Baltimore. The defending Super Bowl champs have lost a lot of their players from last year and this will possibly cause them to be on the bubble trying to make it into the postseason. With this being a Sunday night game, in Baltimore, and possibly having a deciding factor for a playoff spot, I see Baltimore overcoming the Patriots in this one.
Week 17: W vs. Buffalo. The Buffalo Bills will most likely be wrapping up another season of trying to build themselves into an AFC contender. Unless the Patriots rest their starters for the final week, I don't see Buffalo winning this regular season finale in Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots, based on my predictions, will have a record of 11-5 and will be heading to the playoffs for the 5th straight year and for the 10th time in the past 12 years.