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Patriots Schedule Breakdown: Games 5-8

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.

Record: 4-1

 

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.

Record: 5-1

 

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.

Record: 6-1

 

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.

Record: 7-1

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Patriots Schedule Breakdown: Games 5-8

With the 2011 regular season fast-approaching, it’s time to do a breakdown of the upcoming schedule for the Patriots.  Last week, I made predictions on the first four games of the season and had New England rolling to a 4-0 start.  Here is my breakdown of Games 5-8.

 

Week 5 – Home vs. New York Jets

This is the game that every Patriots fan has circled on their calendar.  It’s time to serve a dish of revenge, piping hot.  Jets fans are probably supremely confident that their boys will be able to waltz into Foxboro and recreate the pounding that they handed New England in last season’s playoffs.  However, the Patriots rarely allow teams to fool them twice.  You can be sure that Belichick has a whole host of schemes cooked up to counter Rex Ryan’s game plan.  This is going to be a brawl, and I expect the Patriots to come out the victors.

Predicted Record: 5-0

 

Week 6 – Home vs. Dallas

“America’s Team” vs. the REAL American team.  Dallas is a hard team to read overall, as they have the talent to potentially be an elite club, but clearly stumbled embarrassingly last season.  Regardless, I’m not picking against the Patriots at home in this situation.  Rack up another W.

Predicted Record: 6-0

 

Week 8 – Away vs. Pittsburgh

This game should easily be one of the toughest three games on the schedule for New England.  It would be easy to pencil in a loss here, but the timing couldn’t be any more perfect for the Patriots.  Belichick’s record coming off the bye week is phenomenal and if there’s one team that shouldn’t be scared of walking into Heinz Field, it’s the Patriots.  I’m calling another victory for the Patriots.

Predicted Record: 7-0

 

Week 9 – Home vs. New York Giants

It’s been nearly four long years since that fateful day in February of 2008 when the Patriots’ shot at 19-0 immortality slipped through their fingers and got stuck on David Tyree’s helmet.  The cast members have largely changed since then, but there’s one player who’s belly is still burning with every memory of that game.  It’s the same player who will show Eli Manning that he definitively is NOT in the same class as the reigning league MVP.  You know Brady and Belichick want this one.  They’re going to get it.

Predicted Record: 8-0

Ok, I know an 8-0 record at this point is highly unlikely.  The Monday Night Opener will be anything-goes, Week 2 in San Diego could be dangerous as the weather will be nice, Week 4 at Oakland is a giant trap game, and Week 5 against the Jets and Week 8 at Pittsburgh will certainly not be walks in the park.  There are plenty of chances for the Patriots to stub their toes during the first half of the season.  However, I believe that last year’s 14-2 team will be better this time around.  That team only lost to the Jets and the Browns.  I think the Pats have New York’s number this season with the new 4-3 defensive scheme and an improved running game and O-line.  And last time I checked, the Browns weren’t on the schedule. 

I’m just saying…

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Patriots Schedule Breakdown: Games 5-8

As we inch closer to the start of the 2010 season, I thought it would be a good idea to make some quick analysis of the schdule and make some predictions about how the Patriots will fare in each of their 16 constests.  We took a look at Weeks 1-4 last week, and in today’s piece we’ll take a look at Weeks 6-9.

As a quick recap, here’s how I called each of the first four games.  (You can find the full article here.)

Week 1: Home vs. Cincinatti – W
Week 2: Away vs. New York Jets – W
Week 3: Home vs. Buffalo – W
Week 4: Away vs. Miami – L
Week 5: BYE

 

Week 6 – Home vs. Baltimore

The Patriots took on Baltimore twice at home last season. In Week 4, the teams played a nail-biter, with the Patriots stopping Baltimore in the red zone as the final seconds ticked down.  They met again in the playoffs and it was a completely different affair.  The Ravens gashed the Patriots in the most embarrasing defeat the team has ever suffered in Gillette Stadium.  The Ravens appear to be every bit as good this season as they were last year, and if this game occurred any other week, I’d put it down for a loss. However, the Patriots haven’t lost a game coming out of the bye week since 2002.  Combine that with the need for vengeance and I have to pick the Pats here.

Predicted Record: 4-1

 

Week 7 – Away vs. San Diego

San Diego has been an enigma the past several years.  They’ve managed to squeak into the playoffs the past two seasons, but the Bolts have a tendency to go on some pretty extreme hot and cold streaks throught the year. As a result, it’s difficult to figure out which Charger team the Pats are going to get in Week 7.  The game could either be a breeze or a battle.  I think with all the bad blood built up against New England from back-to-back playoff losses in ’06 and ’07, the Chargers will be amped up for this one.  I’ll pencil in the second loss of the season here.

Predicted Record: 4-2

 

Week 8 – Home vs. Minnesota

This is a tough game for me.  The Vikings are obviously a formidable opponent, and part of me wants to not be a homer and just call this one a loss.  On the flip side, the Patriots aren’t known for losing back-to-back games, it’s at home, and the Vikings are really a dome team.  I wrestled with this one for quite a while before coming to my conclusion.  At the end of the day, I trust Brady more than Favre, and I definitely trust Belichick more than Childress.  I’m going to buck conventional logic here, and mark down a W for the Patriots.

Predicted Record: 5-2

 

Week 9 – Away vs. Cleveland

The perfect trap game.  The Patriots are coming off a big win against Minnesota, flying high and feeling really good about themselves at 5-2.  In Week 10, they have a big road game against the Steelers.  You know Belichick will have his guard up and do his best to embarress Mangini, but will this game mean as much to his players?  There’s a “shocker” nearly every season, and I’m picking this game against the Browns to be New England’s in 2010.

Predicted Record: 5-3

 

As I mentioned in the first article in this series, the Pats find themselves with an incredibly tough schedule this season.  The first half will be absolutely critical in determining how this year pans out as it doesn’t take a big stretch of the imagination to see scenarios where they lose three of their first four games and three of their second four games.  While I had New England starting strong at 3-1, I think 2-2 is reasonable for this second stretch.  Baltimore and Minnesota, their two home opponents, are no pushovers.  San Diego will be a challenge for sure, and Cleveland’s a bit of a toss-up.  I’m not very confident that I nailed the proper order of the wins and losses during Weeks 6-9, but I’d be presently surprised we we ended this difficult stretch at 3-1 or better.

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

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