The Patriots quest for their sixth Super Bowl title didn’t start out quite how they had envisioned.
The Kansas City Chiefs went into Foxborough in week one and beat the Patriots soundly, with the final score reading 42-27.
So now what?
The perfect season bid is out the door, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to hit the panic button if you’re a part of Patriot Nation. In this article we are going to take a look ahead and predict the next three games in the schedule.
Why only three?
Because, there are just too many variables like potential injuries, roster changes and depth chart adjustments that make accurate predictions beyond a few weeks very difficult to make.
So let’s take a look at how the Patriots will do in weeks 2-4.
Week 2: New England @ New Orleans
Hell hath no fury like a Brady scorned. Make no mistake about it, Tom Brady is mad. And the Saints are going to be on the receiving end of his wrath.
In 2014 Chiefs beat the Patriots 41-14, which was, at the time, the most points allowed by a Bill Belichick coached defense, (until week one of this year.)
The next week they went out and beat the brakes of the Cincinnati Bengals 43-17. My point being, Brady and Belichick just don’t lose back to back games, especially after being embarrassed.
Expect the Patriots offense to come out angry and take advantage of a very weak Saints defense that just gave up 29 points to Minnesota.
The Patriots defense still needs some work though, so I would anticipate this could be a high scoring affair, but I do expect the Patriots to win.
Score: Patriots 34 Saints 24
Week 3: New England vs Houston
The Patriots will be riding high after going into New Orleans and getting their first win of the season. In addition to that, they will be headed back home and you know they will be motivated to get a win for their fans.
Houston has always played New England competitively under the coaching of Bill O’Brien, however never well enough to win. I don’t expect this match up to be any different.
Houston still looked lost on offense in week one, especially since their quarterback situation is still muddled. Their defense didn’t look much better as they allowed the Jaguars to score 29 points.
New England should be able to exploit the confusion on both sides of the ball and come away with this one. Brady and the offense should start to really find their rhythm without Edelman and get into a groove with the personnel they have.
I would also expect the Patriots defense to finally begin to become a cohesive unit and start limiting the big plays and points scored.
Score: New England 28 Houston 10
Week 4: New England vs Carolina
The more I think about this game, the more I begin to feel it will be less competitive than people are anticipating.
In week one the Panthers did not look like anything special against a clearly weaker 49ers team. Cam Newton was inaccurate and didn’t run, which limited how big of a threat he was.
The defense was fine, but they also weren’t really tested by a lackluster San Francisco offense.
Overall the Panthers just looked like an average team.
The Patriots hold a clear advantage in this matchup.
I would expect a fully healthy Dont’a Hightower to spy Newton to limit his running. A strategy the Patriots have used for years against mobile quarterbacks.
I also don’t see the defense struggling to deal with offensive weapons Christian McCaffery or Greg Olsen since they see running backs and a tight ends like them everyday in practice.
And finally the Panther’s don’t really have any massive threats in the receiving corps, which should allow the secondary to shut down the passing game.
I do however, think the Panther’s defense will manage to keep the Patriots scoring limited. But, I don’t believe they will be able to muster enough offense to keep up.
It will be lower scoring and close, but the outcome will never really be in question.
Score: New England 20 Carolina 10
I think the week one loss is the reality check and motivation that this team needed. They needed to be reminded that they can lose, and that another Super Bowl isn’t a given.
I fully expect that the Patriots will head into week 5 with a record of 3-1 and all the momentum on their side.
My gut feeling tells me the rest of the season will go similarly, but we will wait til week 5 to reassess! But I will leave you with this.
In the Belichick/Brady era, the Patriots have lost three season openers: 2001, 2004 and 2014. They went on to win the Super Bowl in each of those seasons.