With one of the easiest schedules in the NFL, a 16-0 season is definitely possible
The Patriots have always gotten off easy when it comes to regular season games. Every year they are lucky enough to play the Jets, Bills and Dolphins TWICE. All three teams have been bad for as long as the Patriots have been good. The Dolphins have had one season above .500 in the last decade. The Jets haven’t won the division since 2002. Things have fared even worse for the Bills, who haven’t won the division since 1995, which was all the way back when the Macarena was popular.
The closest thing the Pats have to a threat in the AFC East is the Bills. The Bills offense is a mixed bag this year and had trouble against the Patriots defense, which is arguably the best in the league. Players like Bills tight end Dawson Knox had their time to shine against the 27th ranked Bangles defense in week three but struggled against Pats defenders like Devin McCourty and Dont’a Hightower. I’ll give credit where credit is due, the Bills were able to hold the explosive Pats offense to just 16 points, which is about half of what they would normally score, but in the end it wasn’t enough to beat them.
But this year is even better for Pats fans. As of week 4 they only play two more teams with a current winning record. They play all the teams in the AFC North, who as of now have a combined 4-10 record this season. Things won’t get that much harder when they face off against the NFC East. They play the 3-1 Cowboys in late November, and the Eagles now are a completely different team than the one that beat the Pats in the Superbowl two years ago. Without Eli Manning’s unique ability to ruin the Patriots’ season, the Giants will likely struggle and the Redskins are well… The Redskins. In fact, the Patriots won’t play a team with a winning record until Nov. 24.
The Patriots offense this year is exactly how you would expect it. Tom Brady already has over 1,000 passing yards and seven touchdown passes. With weapons such as Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon receiving, that number is going to keep rising quickly.
New England’s defense also deserves some time in the spotlight. They have scored more touchdowns than the Miami Dolphins and show no signs of stopping. The strength of the Patriots defense this year can be attributed to head coach Bill Belichick’s micromanagement.
When defensive coordinator Brian Flores left after the 2018 season, Belichick put much more direct effort in. The Pats defense has given up just one touchdown all season. They shut out the Dolphins and held the Steelers to just three points. The Pats defense have a strong secondary and great cornerbacks.
But if you’re not a Pats fan, don’t worry, there is still hope. In week 14, the Kansas City Chiefs will face off against them. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense have been phenomenal so far this year. If their defense can improve they could stop the Patriots in their tracks later this season, but until then, the Pats shouldn’t have any issues winning games.
After watching the Patriots dominate the NFL for the last 20 years, it’s hard to believe that they could get any better. If you’re in doubt just tune into the game on Sunday and see for yourself.
~Nick Prokos, Staff Writer~