Schedule day has come, and provided we are able to play games as usual, the Patriots schedule will go as followed:
|1||Sept. 13||vs. Dolphins||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|2||Sept. 20||at Seahawks||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|3||Sept. 27||vs. Raiders||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|4||Oct. 4||at Chiefs||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|5||Oct. 11||vs. Broncos||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|7||Oct. 25||vs. 49ers||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|8||Nov. 1||at Bills||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|9||Nov. 9 (Monday)||at Jets||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|10||Nov. 15||vs. Ravens||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
|11||Nov. 22||at Texans||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|12||Nov. 29||vs. Cardinals||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|13||Dec. 6||at Chargers||4:25 p.m. ET||CBS|
|14||Dec. 10 (Thursday)||at Rams||8:20 p.m. ET||Fox/NFLN/Amazon|
|15||Dec. 20||at Dolphins||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|16||Dec. 28 (Monday)||vs. Bills||8:15 p.m. ET||ESPN|
|17||Jan 3||vs. Jets||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
A few thoughts:
-We knew this would be a tough schedule, as the opponents were finalized in Week 17 of 2019, but man this is a really tough road for Belichick and Co., especially without number 12 taking snaps under center. Facing off vs the best division in football in the NFC West and an up and coming AFC West is a tall task in it of itself, not to mention playing the other AFC division winners in Houston and Baltimore.
-A Week 6 bye week is absolutely brutal, there’s no way around it. The late bye week the Pats were fortunate to have had in the past few years has done wonders to heal up injured players and give them an opportunity to reset. This year, they won’t be able to experience that luxury.
-I was somewhat surprised with five primetime games for the Patriots in 2020 due to the loss of Tom Brady, but schedule makers clearly view New England as a major draw regardless of the quarterback.
-Starting off in Seattle in Week 2 and Kansas City in Week 4 is going to be a major challenge this year. They may not be able to afford a slow start this year, especially with all three division teams improving significantly. It isn’t a given that the Patriots will waltz in and win the AFC East without a fight in 2020. A Week 16 matchup in Buffalo on Monday Night could very well decide who comes away with the AFC Title.
-A Stidham vs. Garoppolo matchup in Week 7 should be a thrilling tilt, the story lines will pretty much write themselves. Can Stidham beat out Belichick’s former heartthrob in Jimmy G, or will Kyle Shanahan exercise his demons from Super Bowl 51?
-I predict an 11-5 record for the Pats this year. I think Stidham and Belichick are going to surprise people, but it is still going to be a very difficult task. I think they’ll lose to Seattle, Baltimore, Kansas City, (at) Buffalo, and San Francisco, and take home the AFC East crown once again.
-Another prediction I’m going to make is that the Patriots are going to have a better record than the Brady and Gronk-led Bucs. I think New Orleans is going to win the NFC South and it’s going to take a while for Brady to get into a groove down in Tampa.