I really want the Patriots to run the table this year and try and complete a perfect regular season. Currently, the team sits at 6-0, almost halfway to perfection. For the biased New England fan, how could the Patriots lose any games going forward? They look nearly unstoppable. The thing is, some team will find a way to stop them.
Every New England fan knows this Patriots team is strong, but they also have several key weaknesses. The most prevalent weakness is their secondary. Malcolm Butler was killed on Sunday for 6 catches and 94 yards. A few of those catches were on third and long, which can’t happen. This needs to improve if the Patriots want to keep winning. Another area of concern I see with this team has been the lack of a running game the last few weeks. I know Dion Lewis has been hurt, and the offensive line has been nothing but a mix and match, but this need to get better. This should happen once Bryan Stork returns.
Now looking at the Patriots schedule, I see a few possible games the Patriots could lose. The first one is this Thursday night versus the Dolphins. The Dolphins always play the Patriots tough, and both teams are playing on a short week. This game could be a scrappy contest. Miami is also playing more inspired football under interim head coach Dan Campbell. Miami has won 2 of the last 3 against the Pats. The Patriots also play Miami week 17. If the playoff seeding’s are set, the Patriots will not really be playing to win the game.
Another game the Patriots could lose is week 9 against the Giants. The Giants have had a lot of success against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The Giants are 3-1 against the Patriots since the 2007 season. The reason the Giants have had success against the Patriots is because of their effective pass rush.
A last key game the Patriots could potentially lose is week 11 against the Broncos. The game is going to be played at Mile High, which is a tough venue for any team to play. The last time the Patriots played in Denver, they got destroyed in the 2013 AFC Championship Game.
The Patriots can go 16-0 if they can play their best football week in and week out, however, this team has some flaws that could limit them to a 12-4 season. I still believe the Patriots are the best team in the AFC, and have a very realistic chance of defending their super bowl title. That being said, it would be really cool so see the Patriots win game number 19 in San Francisco in the 50th Super Bowl, avenging their stunning defeat in Super Bowl 42 to the Giants.
That would stick it to all the Brady haters out there.
One for the thumb… Go Pats
by Matt Nadworny