It’s 51 days until the new NFL season begins but for a football mad guy like me that’s just too long so I’ve taken it upon myself to go over each NFL schedule and try and predict for all of you what may happen once the season rolls around.
Today marks the end of the look at AFC schedules with our final team from the AFC East being the New England Patriots who went 13-3 in 2011. Here’s how I think their season will go:
- Week 1 at Tennessee Titans – Win
- Week 2 vs Arizona Cardinals – Win
- Week 3 at Baltimore Ravens – Win
- Week 4 at Buffalo Bills – Win
- Week 5 vs Denver Broncos – Win
- Week 6 at Seattle Seahawks – Win
- Week 7 vs New York Jets – Loss
- Week 8 at St Louis Rams – Win
- Week 9 BYE
- Week 10 vs Buffalo Bills – Loss
- Week 11 vs Indianapolis Colts – Win
- Week 12 at New York Jets – Win
- Week 13 at Miami Dolphins – Win
- Week 14 vs Houston Texans – Loss
- Week 15 vs San Francisco 49ers – Win
- Week 16 at Jacksonville Jaguars – Win
- Week 17 vs Miami Dolphins – Win
Overall Record for the New England Patriots in 2012: 13-3
Anyone who looks at this schedule can surmise the blatantly obvious – this has got to be one of the easiest schedules this team could get. In actual fact the New England Patriots have THE easiest schedule in the league along with the Cincinnati Bengals and it’s to such an extent that many commentators are advising that double digit wins is a virtual certainty for the Patriots in 2012.
There are two main points in this schedule where New England could be derailed – the stretch from week 3 to 7 which has some tricky matchups although the majority of the teams aren’t highly fancied; also the back-to-back home games late in the season against Houston and San Francisco but even here the Pats get lucky due to the west to east travel for both the visiting teams and Foxborough is one of the toughest places to play in December.
I’ll finish on this note – for the past five seasons the team that had the “easiest” schedule missed the playoffs. This is something that Patriots fans are well aware of given that in 2008 New England were a juggernaut who fell over on the NFL’s easiest schedule due to the sudden and disasterous injury to Tom Brady at the beginning of the season. The schedule was simple enough that the Pats still had an impressive 11-5 record and Matt Cassel got himself a big contract in Kansas City. Maybe it’s time to invest in Messrs Hoyer and Mallett? On second thought – maybe not.