One week at a time. I get it.
But with a 5-0 start to the season for the Patriots, I can’t help but think about the possibility of a 16-0 season. So let’s take a look at the current road to possible perfection:
Week 6: vs New York Giants
-It’s a short week for a rookie quarterback at Gillette, which is nightmare fuel for every Giants fan entering Thursday Night Football. Also, no Saquon Barkley. If this one is close, it’ll be because it’s also a short week for the Patriots. But there’s no way the Giants win.
Week 7: at New York Jets
-Monday Night Football at MetLife. The Patriots already defeated New York in Week 3. The Jets might still be looking for their first win of the season. Spoiler: they won’t get it.
Week 8: vs Cleveland Browns
-Cleveland comes off the bye for this 4:25 p.m. kickoff at Gillette. The Browns have shown flashes of promise, but are still a team that needs to focus less on the “show” and more on the game. Over-under on Baker Mayfield commercials during the broadcast is 16.
Week 9: at Baltimore Ravens
-It’s Sunday Night Football and the Patriots’ final game before the bye. The Ravens won their first two games against two brutal teams (Miami and Arizona), yet, many have already put Lamar Jackson in Canton. Cleveland scored 40 points in Baltimore. How many points will New England score there?
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: at Philadelphia Eagles
-This begins New England’s toughest four-game stretch of the season. The Eagles are still trying to solidify their identity with Carson Wentz under center. The Philly Special won’t work on this Patriots defense though. Pats and the Under sounds like a good bet here.
Week 12: vs Dallas Cowboys
-Dallas got off to a 3-0 start, but turned into a puddle against the Saints and Packers in Weeks 4 and 5. That exposed the Cowboys a bit, making this game at Gillette a lot less dangerous for the Patriots. Score early on the Cowboys and they’ll stop running the football with their most dangerous weapon, Ezekiel Elliott, altogether. Not an impossible strategy to execute.
Week 13: at Houston Texans
-This one on Sunday Night Football has potential “trap game” factors for the Patriots, as they’ll host Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs the following Sunday. The Pats can’t afford to overlook the Texans. This will be tougher than the Kansas City game.
Week 14: vs Kansas City Chiefs
-You’ll get the “potential AFC Championship preview” analysis leading into this one at Gillette, but if you’ve watched the Chiefs’ defense this season, you know they can’t make the big stop when they absolutely need to. That won’t work well against Tom Brady. This one will be over-hyped. Pats and the Over.
Week 15: at Cincinnati Bengals
-This is the first of three “just don’t get hurt and get out of there with a win” games. The Bengals have no shot.
Week 16: vs Buffalo Bills
-The Bills come to town for a rematch of the Patriots’ Week 4 win in Buffalo. It was a 16-10 game. This won’t be nearly as close.
Week 17: vs Miami Dolphins
-It’s possible the Dolphins will be searching for their first win here, in Week 17. It’s also possible the Patriots will be looking to seal the deal on a 16-0 regular season. There’ll be no Miami Miracle this year.
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