The Patriots head into the 2010 season as the reigning AFC East champions.
As they look to repeat as division winners and work deeper into the playoffs to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2007-08 season, when they lost the chance at a perfect season when they were defeated by the New York Giants, the Patriots face a difficult road.
The Patriots face a tough schedule, as their opponents’ 2009 combined record stands at 114-94, a .548 winning percentage. Seven of the team’s 10 non-divisional games are against teams with winning records in 2009, six of which went to the playoffs, and two that made the NFL’s final four.
However, of those seven games, only two of them are away contests. If the Patriots are as dominant at home as they were last year (8-0, tied for best record in the NFL), they could be in good shape.
Here are the five most important games of the Patriots season.