The best part about being a Patriots fan is that you essentially celebrate them all year long with separate events throughout the year that work as holidays. Let me elaborate you have all 16 games each week you have something to celebrate, all 3 or 4 playoff games mucho celebracion, super bowl the grand finale, free agency, schedule day, draft day and before you know it we have the summer training camps and preseason.
Yesterday was one of those celebrations, NFL schedule release day or what we in New England like to call seeing our road to the Lombardi. I like to always think we have it easy but year after year the NFL tries to pound us with a tough, grueling schedule. This year is no different. No matter what the reports say about top 5 easiest or hardest schedules throughout the league they’ve kept the Patriots legendary name out of their mouths because of their elite status and ability to beat any team any place any time. Our roster this year is looking incredible and we haven’t even hit draft day yet. This year we take on the AFC West and NFC south two decent divisions where most teams have top of the league defenses. Let’s take a look at the 2017 Patriots schedule non-divisional games to see how we match up.
Week 1 Chiefs (Home)
This is going to be a tough start to the season. This chief’s team has really turned things around since 2013 and has made the playoffs 3 out the last 4 years; however they’ve failed in the playoffs each and every time. Kansas City has a lot to prove this year and they are going to come out swinging after losing to the Steelers in the divisional playoff round after placing 1st in their AFC West division. Since 2000 the Patriots are 6-2 against this team but don’t let that fool you this is a tough team to play against, they went 12-4 last season and were 6-2 for home and away games.
Week 2 Saints (Away)
Saints have always been a great sparring partner for the Patriots, we have hosted New Orleans the past couple years in summer camps and pre-season games. Sean Payton and Coach Bill are genuine friends. This game will be played in New Orleans and since 2000 the Pats are 3-1 against this team. Our offense is top tiered this year and unless the 7-9 2016 Saints beefs up their bottom of the barrel defense I think we’ll be okay. I won’t let that overshadow their #1 ranked offense however this team can move the football with 6816 total yards last season. I think we have the edge in this one due to our defensive pickups.
Oh and here’s a great TB12 stat while we’re at it:
Brady has played 92% of his games outdoors (185 of 202)….
Manning has played 49% of his games outdoors (122 of 248)….
Brady in a dome: 67.4%, 8.64 YPA, 6.9 TD%, 2.62% INT, 106.42 rating
Week 3 Texans (Home)
Ahh the Texans, the little brother of the Patriots that may just never grow big enough to beat them up one day. The Texans staff is constructed of old Patriots players and coaches. Some like Bill O’Brien, Mike Vrabel and Vince Wilfork will go down in Patriots history but will for sure never be remembered for that Texans logo. The Patriots are 8-1 against this team and smoked them twice last year once in the regular season and once in the playoffs. Not worried, just hope our OL can stop Clowney from hurting our precious Tom.
Week 4 Panthers (Home)
No clue what happened to this Panthers team. They went from a 15-1 nearly undefeated team, and even making it to a super bowl in 2015 to going 6-10 this past season and missing the playoffs. Losing a super bowl sent them on a downward spiral and they will be looking to make some serous changes this season for this fan base and franchise. Patriots are 3-2 against this team since 2000. They are still one of the top rush stoppers in the NFL led by Luke Keuchly an d giving up only 1464 brush yards 6th in the NFL. Let’s see if Cam Newton can turn things around but this game should be a a win at home in New England.
Week 5 Buccaneers (Away)
This game will probably be one of our toughest. The Buccaneers are a team that is looking to make a statement in the NFC South with standout fantasy players. Jamies Winston, Doug Martin, Jacquizz Rodgers and Mike Evans were offensive beasts; they make up for most of the 5542 total yards they earned last year. This team was 9-7 last year and missed the playoffs so they are on the hunt this season.
Week 7 Falcons (Home)
This game will be an ultimate rematch of super bowl 51. What the perfect game to be played on Sunday Night Football at home in Foxboro. Patriots are 5-0 against Atlanta since 2000 but honestly this game will never overshadow the embarrassment they suffered in February. This will be an amazing game but win or lose we still made them cry with the greatest comeback in sports history.
Week 8 Chargers (Away in LA)
LA Chargers, just what LA needs 2 football teams for the Kardashians to choose from SMH. Chargers always give us some decent competition and we are 7-3 against them since 2000. However this team is coming off a 5-11 season and were 16th overall in offensive and defensive stats. I’m predicting a nice victory in sunny California.
Week 10 Broncos (Away)
This game acts like a double edged sword. I am extremely frustrated with this game because yet again we play in Denver against this Broncos team. The Patriots have played in Denver the last three times these teams have met. The Broncos play some of their best football against the Patriots and even better in Denver. The Broncos were 5-3 at home last season and we just played them in Denver late last season where we ran away with a 16-3 victory. This team had the 4th ranked defense last year and is coming off a shaky offense that was 27th in the league. But this is most definitely a rivalry that boasts great competition so matter who their QB is, look for a great game. The only real positive I have for this is that it’s after our bye week so thanks NFL for at least that.
Week 11 Oakland (Away in Mexico)
This is a great matchup. This Oakland team was special last year and if Derrick Carr didn’t go down with an injury it would’ve made for a fun playoff run against New England. We are 5-1 against Oakland since 2000 and this is essentially a home game for Oakland since their entire fan base is Spanish. Their 6th place offense can move the ball so should be a great game, and quite possibly could be the prequel to the AFC championship.
Week 15 Steelers (Away)
I genuinely like this tough game late in the season. Hopefully by then the Patriots would have clinched the home field advantage and we can sit our starters (Unlikely Coach Bill would do that but we can hope). The Steelers have a fantastic display of offensive explosiveness. Big Ben and Antonio Brown are dangerous for this leagues defensive secondary. The Patriots are 10-3 since 2000 against the Steelers so not too worried about this match up this late in the season. In my opinion the NFL is losing some serious money not having this game on prime time national TV.
Road to Glory in 2017: