The Patriots have received the most difficult 2020 schedule in the league. Here are game-by-game predictions for this season:
Week 1, Sept. 13: vs. Dolphins- Win. The Patriots begin their season at home against rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins newly stacked defense. The 2 teams split last season’s matchups, and this year could be the same outcome. This game should be a defensive battle and whichever team wins the turnover ratio will most likely be victorious.
Week 2, Sept. 20: @ Seahawks- Loss. With the Seahawks’ experience and offseason position improvements, it is hard to see this rebuilding Patriots team go into Seattle and get the better of them.
Week 3, Sept. 27: vs. Raiders- Win. Overall, the Patriots have a more well-rounded team. They have beat the Raiders in their last 5 meetings and playing in Foxborough definitely gives New England the advantage.
Week 4, Oct. 4: @ Chiefs- Loss. Playing against Patrick Mahomes is always difficult. Enough said.
Week 5, Oct. 11: vs. Broncos- Win. Both teams are young and have a ton of potential. This game will be a close battle, with the winner being the team who can find a way to score against the strong opposing defense.
Week 6: Bye Week
Week 7, Oct. 25: vs. 49ers- Loss. The Niners have one of the strongest defenses paired with a talented young receiving core that can rip apart any secondary. The 49ers defense alone might be enough to win against a young QB, Stidham.
Week 8, Nov. 1: @ Bills- Loss. This should be a well-played game by both sides. Both teams are fairly even on both sides of the football. Home field advantage gives the Bills a slight edge in this one.
Week 9, Nov. 9: @ Jets- Win. Last year when the Patriots came into New York, they beat the Jets 33-0. While it probably won’t be by that margin this year, they still have a clear advantage over the team.
Week 10, Nov. 15: vs. Ravens- Loss. Last year Lamar Jackson’s Ravens beat Tom Brady’s Patriots 37-20. Without Brady this year, the outcome will likely be the same.
Week 11, Nov. 22: @ Texans- Win. The Texans took some hits this offseason, as did the Patriots. But, with the Patriots’ strong defense, they are the clear favorites.
Week 12, Nov. 29: vs. Cardinals- Win. The Cardinals are a young team on the rise. But the Patriots’ powerful defense has the ability to shut them down. This game can be won if the Patriots offense can move the football and score.
Week 13, Dec. 6: @ Chargers- Win. This young Chargers offense could be easy to take advantage of. If Stidham and his offensive weapons have success, this game will be all Patriots.
Week 14, Dec. 10: @ Rams- Loss. The Patriots’ have had success against the Rams in recent years. But, with an inexperienced Patriots QB playing against the Rams’ established defense spells trouble.
Week 15, Dec. 20: @ Dolphins- Loss. By this point in the season, the Dolphins offense will be more developed than when they played Week 1. The game should still be very close, but the Dolphins improved defense might be enough to give them an edge over the Patriots.
Week 16, Dec. 28: vs. Bills- Win. This is another close matchup for the Patriots. Stidham vs. Allen will be a fun competition this season, and it would only be fair to give the Patriots one of these two games.
Week 17, Jan. 3: vs. Jets- Win. The Patriots close out the season with a home win against the Jets. The Patriots forceful defense poses too much of a threat to the Jets in this matchup.
With these wins and losses, the Patriots record stands at 9-7. With that record, they most likely find themselves in a wild card position.
Photo: Jeff Howe/The Athletic