With the regular season just days away the New England Patriots look ahead to a schedule that has some grueling stints as they try to reach the postseason for the second consecutive year.
Let’s take a look at every matchup and predict New England’s record this upcoming season.
Week 1: New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins (9/11 - 1 p.m. ET)
The Patriots will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins this upcoming Sunday for their season opener. The trip down to Florida has been a consistent struggle for New England as they have lost four of their last five times on the road against the Dolphins. Things. however, may be different this time around as Miami has a new coaching staff that is offense oriented.
This may lead to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa making mistakes if they elect to throw the ball downfield more. You could also see rookie head coach Mike McDaniel make some bold decisions such as going for an ill-advised fourth down. The Patriots will establish the run and force the young QB/coach duo to make mistakes.
Prediction: Patriots Win 20-17 (1-0)
Week 2: New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers (9/18 - 1 p.m. ET)
New England will face the challenge of back-to-back road games to start the season as they travel to Pittsburgh week two. They face a tough Steelers defense, but the good news is they also play against a quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky who was a backup last year in Buffalo. The Patriots defense will show up to play and help them to squeak out a win to get to 2-0.
Prediction: Patriots Win 16-10 (2-0)
Week 3: Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots (9/25 - 1 p.m. ET)
The Patriots will host their home opener in Week 3 against a Ravens team that is coming off a down year. Baltimore dealt with a ton of injuries last season and is getting multiple starters back on both sides of the football.
New England did get faster, but Lamar Jackson and the Ravens run heavy offense will wear down the Patriots defense leading to their first loss of the year.
Prediction: Ravens Win 27-17 (2-1)
Week 4: New England Patriots @ Green Bay Packers (10/2 - 4:25 p.m. ET)
New England will be back on the road in week four as they travel to Wisconsin to take on the Packers. League MVP Aaron Rodgers will have the Lambeau Field crowd behind him which could lead to issues for Bill Belichick’s team.
Green Bay will deploy two great running backs in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion which will lead to a great rushing attack. This will set up the play action for Rodgers and give the Patriots problems. New England will have a hard time on both sides of the ball and fall to .500 on the season.
Prediction: Packers Win 24-13 (2-2)
Week 5: Detroit Lions @ New England Patriots (10/9 - 1 p.m. ET)
Week 5 is when we will see the Patriots offense finally round into form at home against the Lions. After an abysmal start offensively, Mac Jones will be let loose against a weaker opponent in Detroit. He will throw the ball all over the field while the offensive line dominates in the trenches. The defense will also come out and want to make a statement that will lead to a big Patriots win.
Prediction: Patriots Win 34-17 (3-2)
Week 6: New England Patriots @ Cleveland Browns (10/16 - 1 p.m. ET)
The Patriots will travel to Cleveland in Week 6 and take on old friend Jacoby Brissett. With Deshaun Watson suspended, Brissett will be the starter for the Browns in this matchup. Belichick drafted the N.C. State product and knows his skillset well. New England will come in and know how to stop the quarterback, meaning if they can contain the run game, they will have a good chance at winning.
The offense will have some carry over success from the previous week and take care of business.
Prediction: Patriots Win 30-23 (4-2)
Week 7: Chicago Bears @ New England Patriots (10/24 - 8:15 p.m. ET)
The first primetime game of the season for the Patriots will be against the Bears at home in Week 7. Chicago is in a tough spot heading into this season and this game should be an easy win for New England.
Belichick defenses are dominant against young quarterbacks and Justin Fields will not know what to do on offense. Fields has limited weapons, a bad offensive line and an unreliable defense all paired with a new head coach. This game should be a blowout on primetime in the Patriots favor.
Prediction: Patriots Win 33-13 (5-2)
Week 8: New England Patriots @ New York Jets (10/30 - 1 p.m. ET)
This game feels like a trap for the Patriots. On the road, on a three-game winning streak and on a short week could lead to an overconfident team playing down to their competition.
Coaching will be the biggest key in this matchup as Belichick will do everything in his power to prevent his guys from coming in unprepared against a team they should beat. It may be sloppy, but the overall talent and experience both on the field and sidelines will help New England to sneak away with a win.
Prediction: Patriots Win 24-23 (6-2)
Week 9: Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots (11/6 - 1 p.m. ET)
Last season we saw the Colts somewhat embarrass the Patriots on primetime at home with Carson Wentz at the helm. This time around they will send out Matt Ryan as their signal caller who knows Belichick and the Pats all too well.
New England will remember last season and play extremely hard as it heads into the bye week, but it will not be enough. Indianapolis will dominate the trenches and Ryan will make just enough plays to squeak out a win.
Prediction: Colts Win 27-23 (6-3)
Week 10: Bye
Week 11: New York Jets @ New England Patriots (11/20 - 1 p.m. ET)
After giving the Patriots a tough game in Week 8, the Jets will fail to do the same in Week 11. New England will be at home coming off a loss and then a bye week, which is a recipe for disaster if you are second-year quarterback Zach Wilson.
The Patriots secondary will be all over the field, leading to multiple Wilson turnovers. The offense will dominate time of possession here and run the ball all over the field. It will all be too much for New York and they will get swept in the season series.
Prediction: Patriots Win 31-13 (7-3)
Week 12: New England Patriots @ Minnesota Vikings (11/24 - 8:20 p.m. ET)
Week 12 will start a streak of four straight primetime games for the Patriots with the first on Thanksgiving night. The team will travel to Minnesota to take on Kirk Cousins and a very explosive Vikings offense.
New England will simply not be able to score with their opponent in this one. The stacked receiving corps of Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, KJ Osborn along with tight end Irv Smith Jr. is just too many guys to cover while worrying about Dalvin Cook in the backfield. Jones will lose the shootout to Cousins on turkey day.
Prediction: Vikings Win 38-31 (7-4)
Week 13: Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots (12/1 - 8:15 p.m. ET)
The division rivals will matchup for the first time all season in December in what could be a massive game. Buffalo will travel into Gillette Stadium looking to take care of business in attempts to win the AFC East for the third straight season.
Despite the roaring crowd, the Bills will be able to both run and throw the ball on the Patriots defense while forcing punts/turnovers. You will likely see some uncharacteristic things in this game out of Belichick who will have to dig into his bag of tricks to beat the Bills. In the end it will not be enough to take down Pro Bowl quarterback Josh Allen.
Prediction: Bills Win 31-20 (7-5)
Week 14: New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals (12/12 - 8:15 p.m. ET)
New England will travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals after ten days in between games. The extended rest will benefit the Patriots a ton as they will use it to heal up and develop a game plan to stop Kyler Murray. They will be able to score on the Cardinals weak defense while slowing down the Kliff Kingsbury offense. This will allow them to pull out a big win on Monday Night Football.
Prediction: Patriots Win 33-27 (8-5)
Week 15: New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders (12/18 - 8:20 p.m. ET)
Another short week and travel for the Patriots will be a problem as they head to Vegas to take on what could be a potent offense. This will also be a matchup between Belichick and former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Belichick disciples have had success in the past and this trend will continue on Sunday Night Football. Similar to the Vikings game, the Raiders offense will be too much for New England’s offense to keep up with.
Prediction: Raiders Win 38-27 (8-6)
Week 16: Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots (12/24 - 1 p.m. ET)
Last year’s Super Bowl representative out of the AFC will come into Foxborough Week 16. This will be a game that the Patriots need to win, and it will show.
After being on the road for two straight weeks, New England will likely be an underdog to Joe Burrow and the Bengals in a Saturday afternoon clash. The Patriots will pull off the upset by dominating on the ground and taking the ball out of Burrow’s hands. The defense will make some big plays down the stretch and New England will get a big win for their playoff push.
Prediction: Patriots Win 24-17 (9-6)
Week 17: Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (1/1 - 1 p.m. ET)
A rematch of Week 1 will take place in what will be a freezing cold Gillette Stadium to kick off the new year. This very well could be a win-and-you’re-in type of game for both sides.
The two teams will come out with a ton of intensity and the crowd will be into it early. Tua Tagovailoa will have a repeat of Week 1 and make a big mistake late in the game. The cold temperatures of New England paired with the crowd noise will affect the Dolphins and the Patriots will sneak away in a nail biter.
Prediction: Patriots Win 21-20 (10-6)
Week 18: New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills (1/8 - TBD)
The regular season finale will take place where the Patriots season ended last year, Buffalo. The Bills will be a great team in the AFC and may need a win for seeding purposes. New England on the other hand could be playing this game with playoff implications as well.
The Buffalo crowd will be too much for the Patriots to handle and the Bills offense will shine. They will attempt to bury New England as they head into the postseason.
Prediction: Bills Win 30-16 (10-7)
Final Patriots Record: 10-7
Will 10-7 be good for a playoff appearance? One would like to think so, but multiple teams could have 10 wins with tiebreakers determining who gets wild card spots. Overall, the Patriots will have a solid year full of ups and downs. If they do sneak into the postseason, they will be battle-tested as they face a grueling second-half schedule.