The New England Patriots have been one of the best football teams over the last two decades, with the combination of head coach Bill Belichek and quarterback Tom Brady leading the way.
But with Brady leaving to go to Tampa Bay, the question is whether Bill will be able to keep the Patriots at the top, or if there will be a considerable drop off in his teams’ performance with Jarret Stidham taking over at quarterback.
Then the Patriots pick up former NFL MVP Cam Newton for a 1-year deal, and possibly Vegas already expected this to happen, because the Patriots Super Bowl odds only moved up to 20-1 and were at 25-1 before.
Still, they have the third highest odds to win the Super Bowl in the AFC, behind the Baltimore Ravens at 6-1 and the Kansas City Chiefs at 5-1. Will Cam Newton be the piece that puts the Patriots back in the Super Bowl? Only time will tell, but here is how I see their season going.
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots 9/13, 1pm est
The Patriots begin the season against a familiar AFC East foe, and the Patriots have had little trouble with teams from their division in Bill Belichek’s time in New England.
The Dolphins look like a team on the rise, after having 5 picks in the first two rounds, including three 1st rounders, but they aren’t there yet and should not give the Patriots much to stress about to open the season.
Prediction: Patriots 27, Dolphins 17 Season Record 1-0
New England Patriots @ Seattle Seahawks 9/20, 8:20pm est
The Patriots face a much tougher test in the second game, traveling to the west coast to visit the Seahawks for both teams first prime time game of the season.
It is always tough playing in Seattle, and assuming fans are allowed in the stands, it is one of the best home field advantages in the league. Regardless of whether Cam Newton is playing by this point, the offense will still be figuring itself out, making this a tough game to win.
Prediction: Patriots 17, Seahawks 21 Season Record 1-1
Las Vegas Raiders @ New England Patriots 9/27, 1pm est
The Patriots return home to face the Raiders, who have been improving since John Gruden took over as head coach a couple years ago. That being said, they are still rebuilding, finishing 7-9 last season after going 4-12 the year before.
Don’t expect the Patriots to lose two in a row this early in the season.
Prediction: Patriots 35, Raiders 14 Season Record 2-1
New England Patriots @ Kansas City Chiefs 10/4, 4:25pm est
The Patriots have their second tough road match up of the season, traveling to Kansas City to face the defending Super Bowl champions.
This will definitely be one of the best games of the early season, and will probably go down to the wire.
Prediction: Patriots 28, Chiefs 35 Season Record 2-2
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots 10/11, 1pm est
After facing off in one of the most entertaining games of the season, the patriots will return home to face another AFC West opponent when the Broncos come to town.
The Patriots are very good at home, and losing Tom Brady will not change that. Looking to bounce back from their defeat to the Chiefs, the Patriots will be able to get back on the winning side in this game.
Prediction: Patriots 20, Broncos 14 Season Record 3-2
San Francisco 49ers @ New England Patriots 10/25, 4:25pm est
The team that the Kansas City Chiefs beat in the Super Bowl last year, the 49ers, will come to Foxborough next. What will be another excellent game, this game will be very important to both teams who will be battling for their respective divisions at this point.
It will be a big game for Jimmy Garoppolo, who will be returning to New England to face the team that he was at one time thought to take over after Tom Brady left. The 49ers do not rely on quarterback play as much as some other teams, instead focusing on a strong defense and solid running game.
Cam Newton, on the other hand, has shown he can lead a team himself, but has been struggling with injuries the last few years. This game will probably come down to who has better quarterback play.
Prediction: Patriots 21, 49ers 24 Season Record 3-3
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills 11/1, 1pm est
Another big game for the Patriots, they face the Bills, who many expect to take over the AFC East this season with Tom Brady down south with Tamp Bay.
The Bills are a young team, led by quarterback Josh Allen, and were close last year, finishing 10-6 and making the playoffs for the second year out of the last 3. I expect the Bills to finally get over the hump, winning the AFC East for the first time since 1995.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Bills 28 Season Record 3-4
New England Patriots @ New York Jets 11/9, 8:15pm est
The Patriots continue their road trip, facing another division opponent in the Jets. The Patriots do not often lost 3 games in a row, and I do not see them doing so at this point.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Jets 21 Season Record 4-4
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots 11/15, 8:15pm est
Another tough prime time game for the Patriots, facing the Ravens, who had the league’s best record a year ago before being upset by the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round.
MVP Lamar Jackson will undoubtedly still be a force to reckon with, and will look to get an important win again a conference opponent.
Prediction: Patriots 28, Ravens 35 Season Record 4-5
New England Patriots @ Houston Texans 11/22, 1pm est
It is not often that the Patriots are under .500 at all, and definitely not this late into the season. They will try to get back to even against the Texans, who have made questionable personnel calls recently, most notably trading away one of the best receivers in the league, Deandre Hopkins, and getting little in return.
Prediction: Patriots 38, Texans 28 Season Record 5-5
Arizona Cardinals @ New England Patriots 11/29, 1pm est
Speaking of Deandre Hopkins, the Patriots will play his new team next, the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have been an improving team, and it will be interesting to see how young quarterback Kyler Murray can improve in his second season, especially with the addition of Hopkins.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Cardinals 24 Season Record 6-5
New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Chargers 12/6, 4:25pm est
The Patriots finish their games against the AFC West, traveling out to Los Angeles to face the Chargers. Philip Rivers is gone, heading to Indianapolis to be the Colts new quarterback, leaving Tyrod Taylor and rookie Justin Herbert to compete for the starting job.
Regardless of who wins that battle, if Cam Newton is still healthy by this point in the season they should be able to beat the Chargers. If not, then it may be a long season for the Patriots.
Prediction: Patriots 35, Chargers 31 Season Record 7-5
New England Patriots @ Los Angeles Rams 12/10, 8:20pm est
The Patriots have a short week before facing the Rams, but fortunately they get to stay in the same city as they face the Rams next.
Since the two teams met in the Super Bowl 2 seasons ago, the Rams have not quite been as dominant as they were leading up to the playoff in the 2018-19 NFL season. Their defense was still stout, but the Patriots showed how to slow down their offense in that game.
Prediction: Patriots 17, Rams 13 Season Record 8-5
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins 12/20, 1pm est
The Patriots finish their 3-game road trip against division rival Miami, They do have a little break, 10 days since their last game against the Rams. They have trouble in Miami sometimes, but since they are fighting for their playoff lives so will come out to continue their winning streak.
Prediction: Patriots 42, Dolphins 25 Season Record 9-5
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots 12/28, 8:15pm est
In what very well could be the deciding game for the AFC East, the Bills come in to Foxborough. The Patriots will need this even more, considering that the Bills won the earlier match up and would have the tie breaker if they won this game as well.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Bills 21 Season Record 10-5
New York Jets @ New England Patriots 1/3, 1pm est
The Patriots finish off their season with the third straight match up against a rival from their division, this time hosting the New York Jets. If the Patriots can win this game, they will have won 7 straight games to finish the regular season, and possibly have secured their 12th consecutive AFC East title.
Prediction: Patriots 32, Jets 21 Season Record 11-5
This will be an unusual season, the first time since 2001 since they did not start the season with Tom Brady as their starting quarterback. Adding Cam Newton will help make the transition easier, assuming that he can stay healthy throughout the season.
Bill Belichek has a great opportunity to show how great of a coach he is, and finish the debate once in for all if they are able to get yet another Super Bowl title, his first without Brady.
What do you think? Do the Patriots continue their AFC East dominance? Get another Lombardi Trophy? Let me know in the comments below!