The NFL has finally released the patriots schedule for the 2020 season. We do not know whether fans will be in attendance but we now know when the games will be played. We also know that the Patriots have a gauntlet of a schedule in 2020 that will be a big test for this post-Brady era of Patriots football.
Week 1 Patriots vs Dolphins
The Patriots schedule for the 2020 season kicks off against the Dolphins. The games against the Dolphins should be very interesting now that the Flores era has begun. Playing the Dolphins week one is important because of the quarterback situation. Ryan Fitzpatrick will almost certainly start week one given the modern format of developing quarterbacks. QB development has trended towards the “sit until they are ready approach.” Playing Miami this early in the season is an advantage for the Patriots. The Dolphins are a young team that finished strong but had the fifth overall pick for a reason. The Patriots will get to start off at home against one of the few opponents that did not make the playoffs last season.
Week 2 Patriots @ Seahawks
The Seahawks have stayed in the contender category despite dismantling the “Legion of Boom.” One of their top defensive players in 2019 is still a free agent. If Jadeveon Clowney returns to Seattle, they will have another dynamic player on a sound defense. If not, Pete Carroll will still make this a tough game. Wilson is insanely difficult to contain but his weapons lack name value. Tyler Lockett will have to deal with a combination of Gilmore and double teams. The running game is a constant injury- riddled carousel of backs.
Week 3 Patriots vs Raiders
The Raider got better this offseason but should not be good enough to beat the Patriots. With the Patriots schedule being as tough as it is, Belichick needs to come away with a win here to have a real shot at the postseason.
Week 4 Patriots @ Chiefs
The Patriots schedule includes six 2019 playoff teams accounting for seven total games (Bills twice). One of those teams happens to be the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs. This team is bringing back just about every member of the 2019 roster, as well as some notable draft picks. The offense is almost unstoppable even against New England’s elite secondary. Stidham will have to have a special day if the Patriots are going to pull out a win against this wagon of a team. The Patriots will be heavy underdogs in this game. If this game is competitive, the Patriots should feel pretty good about their talent level this season.
Week 5 Patriots vs Broncos
This game will be a battle of young quarterbacks surrounded by fairly even teams. This will definitely be a winnable game, but the Patriots will have to work for it. The Broncos added a ton of offensive weapons in the draft to give Drew Lock all the help they can give him. Our defense should be well-equipped to handle a young offense. Our new look offense will have an opportunity against a Broncos defense that is in transition right now.
Week 6: Bye Week
Week 7 Patriots vs 49ers
This game with be a defensive battle against the NFC Champions 49ers. San Francisco’s defense is an absolute nightmare especially for our retooling offense. Kyle Shanahan is a great play-caller, but he will have his hands full with the New England defense that features the Defensive Player of the Year and TWO Belichicks making the game plan. This is one of many big tests for the Patriots this season.
Week 8 Patriots @ Bills
The Bills appear to be the Patriots biggest competitor in the AFC East. The Bills proved to be worth the hype in 2019, finishing 10-6. Belichick has done a great job over the years of putting effective game plans in place against Buffalo. If the Patriots want to retain their throne, they need to go into Buffalo and beat their AFC East rivals.
Week 9 Patriots @ Jets
The Patriots and Jets are set to play Monday Night Football in East Rutherford. This should be an easier game relative to the rest of the schedule for this Patriots team. The Jets improved their line by adding a monster by the name of Mekhi Becton to play Left Tackle. Darnold will get much needed protection after “seeing ghosts” last season against a fierce Patriots front seven. The Jets did not do much to add pass catchers, which bodes well for the Patriots elite secondary. This game will have to be won in the trenches, as Bell will be getting a lot of work this season.
Week 10 Patriots vs Ravens
The Ravens have always been a tough test for the Patriots. John Harbaugh already had one of the top teams in the AFC before adding a spectacular draft class. That rookie class should put them right up there with the Chiefs in the power rankings. If Jarrett Stidham and the boys can come away with a win here. they will prove to be legitimate contenders.
Week 11 Patriots @ Texans
The Texans were a very good team last season. Luckily Bill O’Brien is doing everything he can to implode the roster from his new general manager position. With Hopkins gone, the Texans lack a reliable threat in the passing game. If the Patriots defense can stop the run, I expect New England to come away with a victory.
Week 12 Patriots vs Cardinals
The Cardinals are certainly a team on the rise. After a 5-10-1 season, the Cardinals added one of the most prolific receivers in football, DeAndre Hopkins. The battle between reigning DPOY Stephon Gilmore and Hopkins will be a huge one in this game. The Cardinals also added Isaiah Simmons with the 8th overall pick. Simmons is a freak athlete that can play just about anywhere on defense and will be an impact player right away. Kliff and Kyler look like they are building something in Arizona — this game should be a fun one.
Week 13 Patriots @ Chargers
The Chargers have a solid roster, but it has one big question mark. We do not know who will be the starting quarterback by this point. If Tyrod Taylor is still the starter, the Chargers will be a competitive team. Taylor is a solid quarterback who can get the job done if his team plays well. Herbert would make this game more unpredictable as we have not seen what he will be at the NFL level. This is another game that is almost a must win given how hard the rest of the schedule is.
Week 14 Patriots @ Rams
The Rams looked like the next great team with Sean McVay leading the charge. Unfortunately for the Rams their time in Los Angeles has had more ups and downs than projected. Paying Jared Goff $134M over four years has really hurt the team and caused them to make too many roster decisions based on cap issues. The Super Bowl 53 rematch is going to be a close one in all likelihood.
Week 15 Patriots @ Dolphins
There is a much better chance we see Tua Tagovailoa in at this point in the season. Another storyline to pay attention to is the fact that this game is in Miami. Patriots always seem to struggle against the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. By this time the playoff picture will start to be formed, and the Patriots have a chance to really up their stock with a big win in Miami.
Week 16 Patriots vs Bills
This game could be a potential playoff preview and could decide the division. What better way than to win the division on your home turf against your biggest AFC East threat.
Week 17 Patriots vs Jets
The Patriots get to close out their season at home in what should be a winnable game. This game could be huge for playoff seeding so it’s nice to have a game the Patriots will be favored in.
The Patriots schedule for the 2020 season is a tough one. Not only do the Patriots have the toughest strength of schedule, but they have to go into the season without Brady at the helm for the first time since 2001. The only positive about losing the greatest quarterback of all time is that the Patriots still have the greatest coach of all time.
Patriots Schedule 2020