Week 1 vs Arizona Cardinals
Starting off the season with a tough task, as the team travel to Arizona for a Sunday night football match-up against the Arizona Cardinals. The team just came close to making the Super Bowl last season, losing in the NFC Championship game to the Carolina Panthers.
The offense was ranked second in the league, with Palmer is having most likely the most productive season of his career. Throwing for over 4000 yards and 35 touchdowns, does not hurt when you have great receivers to throw the ball too.
If New England wants to have any chance of winning this game, the defense will have to stop the Cardinals high powered offense and hold them to under 30 points. The team will have to pressure Palmer to keep them under 30 points, and even though passing is the main strength of the team’s offense the running game is nothing to ignore.
Garoppolo has a lot of weapons on the Patriots offense like Julian Edelman, Danny Amandola, Rob Gronkowski, and newly acquired Marcellus Bennett. With all the depth receivers he has in that offense and a decent running game. it should be fun to watch how he handles his first chance to start in the league against a team like Arizona.
Predicts L 0-1, Cardinals offense will be too much for the Patriots defense, lets not forget that Garoppolo is making his first start in the league. So it is most likely he will have a lot of nerves heading into the game, which the Cardinals defense will take advantage of. Lets not forget the Cardinals now have Chandler Jones, who will be looking to prove the Patriots wrong for trading him this off-season.
Week 2 vs. Miami Dolphins
After a tough Week 1 match-up vs Cardinal, the team comes back home for some home cooking with three straight home games. First game at home in the regular season is against an up and coming division rival a team that the Patriots had success against for the past couple of seasons, the Miami Dolphins.
Last season, Ryan Tannahill looked like in some games that he was making strides to becoming a franchise quarterback, and other games he was showing that he is not the quarterback the team has hoped for. Tannahill had more success last season, with the up and coming receivers the team has and the offensive line looking promising. The future looks bright for that offense. Even though the running game a mystery.
The defense with the signing of free agent Ndamukong Suh were hyped to be a dominating defense in the AFC, in reality the defense did not live up to the standards that they were hyped up to be. Giving up a lot of offensive yards most of the season, but near the end of the season the defense showed some promise.
The game plan for New England for this game should be getting pressure on the offense, that has not shown it could be consistently effective. The Patriots have the offensive firepower to take care of the Dolphins defense, with 1 start under his belt Garoppolo should know how to deal with the Dolphins defense. Being at home as well should make a big difference.
Prediction W 1-1, It is the first home game of the season and Garoppolo first start at home in the league. So that should give the team some motivation to go out there to get the win. There is a reason why the Patriots have had the advantage over Miami over the past few seasons, it is because the team is the much better team then them It will be shown in this game right here.
Week 3 vs. Houston Texans
In the team’s first Thursday night game of the season, and in the second home game in a row the team has a tough task in Houston Texans. Texans are looking to build off the success of last season off the shoulders of quarterback, and off-season signing Brock Osweiler.
Last season in a weak AFC South division, the Texans took advantage of the opportunity and won the division. Making the playoffs only to get eliminated in the wild card round to Kansas City Chiefs.
In the off-season, the team upgraded at quarterback signing former Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler to a four year $72 million dollar contract. Osweiler put up solid numbers in relief for former starting quarterback Peyton Manning last season, which is a good reason why the team decided to give Osweiler that contract even though he does not have a lot of experience starting in the league. Osweiler will have a lot to work with the Texans, including superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
The biggest reason why the Texans had a successful season, making the playoffs, and winning the division was because of a dominating defense. Headlined by defensive end JJ Watt, who had a great season last season being a huge part of the teams success last season.
The game plan for the Patriots here is, stop the defense from making any impact during the game. The Texans defense is one of the top in the league, that could stop any offense in the league. So the main point to pick up the win here in New England is to have a good strong offensive game, moving the ball downfield for a touchdown. Garoppolo should know the offense well enough to lead the offense on scoring drives. Even though stopping the Texans defense is the main priority, Texans offense is nothing to look past it looks promising with Osweiler Hopkins and Lamar Miller.
Prediction W 2-1 It will be a close game no doubt, between a good offense against a good defense. At the end of the day, it will end up being what head coach can outcoach the other and that advantage will have to go to Bill Belichick over Bill O Brian. Another thing to point out here is every time these two teams play each other, the Patriots always have the Texans number outplaying the team. The offense should be good enough with Gronkowski, Edelman, Bennett, and the others get past this Texans defense. Even with the quarterback only making his 3rd start in the league.
Week 4 vs Buffalo Bills
In the final game of the 3 game home stand, the Patriots have a tough task. Buffalo Bills come into Gillette Stadium looking to get a win over the Patriots before Brady comes back from suspension.
Last season in Rex Ryan first years as Bills head coach, the team looked like that it had a lot of promise heading into the season. Only to be disappointed with another losing season. One bright spot about this team is the defense has a bright future, and with the right tools Tyrod Taylor lookss like he could be a good duel threat quarterback.
Tyrod Taylor entered the pre season last year, as the 3rd string quarterback behind Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel. Thanks to the Taylors impressive performance during the preseason, and some luck in Cassel and Manuel performing very poorly during the preseason It landed him the starting job week 1 of the NFL Season. Taylor look like he could be something in this league as a quarterback with the numbers he put up.
The defense last season was a strength the team has had a great defensive mind in Rex Ryan as head coach, your defense will improve. That what it did, it did have some inconsistent play. At the end of the day, the success of the defense is something the team should build off of in order to have successful seasons.
In order for the Patriots to pick up the win here, the focus of the game plan should be attacking the Bills defense with the passing game, and don’t let the defense get to the quarterback. The bills have a good defense, so it will be good to see how Ryan plans for a guy in Garoppolo who is only making his 4th ever start.
Prediction L 2-2, Ryan is known around the league for creating great defenses who know how to get after the quarterback. He must be enjoying the fact that Brady is not going to be playing in week 4, and that an inexperienced quarterback in only his 4th start is starting at quarterback. At the end of the day, The Bills pass rush will get to Garoppolo all game long, and it will be tough for the Patriots to get anything going on offense passing and rushing wise.