Continuing on with our look at the Patriots 2012 schedule and predictions, here is my take on Games 5-8 of the season…
Week 5: vs. Denver Broncos
It's Brady vs. Manning XIII. But as everyone is well aware, this time Peyton Manning will be playing for the grown-up horses instead of the ponies. The Patriots laid the smack down on Denver twice last season, one being in historical fasion during the AFC Division Round. However, these ain't Tebow's Broncos. I expect Brady to bring out the best in Manning and for this to be a close contest. Had this been in Denver, I would've been tempted to peg this as a potential loss. However, I think Brady will want this one badly, as will Josh McDaniels. I'm backing the home team on this one.
Week 6: @ Seattle Seahawks
Seattle is one of the toughest road venues in the league, and the Pats have to only look back to 2008 to remember how close they nearly came to falling to a 2-10 Seahawks team. Sandwiched between the Peyton Manning and the Jets, this one has all the trimmings of a classic trap game. In the end, I have to believe that Belichick won't let his team fall into it.
Week 7: vs. New York Jets
You have to be able to score a touchdown to win a football game, right? All kidding aside, you can be sure that Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano will be throwing the kitchen sink at the Patriots in their first meeting of the year (that is, assuming the Jets locker room hasn't entirely imploded by then). Who knows what we'll see in this game…
…Other than a complete smack down and Rex Ryan drowning his post-game sorrows with some gravy fries.
Week 4: @ St. Louis Rams
New England is undefeated in Old England, and I expect that situation to remain the same after the Patriots travel across the pond to face the Rams. Based on the 2011 standings, this one is about as lopsided as they come (until Week 11 at least). Expect a Week of Super Bowl XXXVI reminiscing and a victory for the Pats.