New England Patriots Predictions 2011: Breaking Down Each Pats Game This Season
This time last year, most Patriots fans were scratching their heads trying to figure out how a team filled with question marks would survive a perplexing schedule filled mostly with playoff teams from the prior season. However, this team found ways to win week after week and earned the league's best record of 14-2.
With big additions on both sides of the ball, including the bloodcurdling Albert Haynesworth, expert route runner Chad Ochocinco and the terrifying ex-Jet Shaun Ellis, it is difficult not to be thrilled about the potential this team has entering the 2011 season.
Here is a breakdown of each game this upcoming season.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
The poor quarterback play and overall unimpressive performance last season make the Dolphins the heavy underdogs going into this game. New England's revamped defense will be foaming at the mouth at the chance to terrorize the young college-esque quarterback, Chad Henne.
Last year, Henne took a quantum leap backward in his development, and New England's defense will simply be too overwhelming for him. Conversely, Tom Brady and company will have no problem putting up big numbers against Miami's defense. This will be a great way to kick off the season for Pats fans.
Prediction: New England 34, Dolphins 10
New England Patriots vs. San Diego Chargers
For most of last season, San Diego sported the best defense and best offense. However, it was the disgraceful play of their special teams that kept this talented team from entering the playoffs.
If the Chargers can recharge their special teams, this could be one of the most exciting games of the season. These two teams are stocked with talent on both sides of the ball and have two of the best quarterbacks in the league in Tom Brady and Philip Rivers.
New England will have home field advantage and possess a far superior head coach in Bill Belichick, so I will give them the edge in this one. Regardless, this will be a fun game to watch. New England gets the "W" in overtime thanks to a Tom Brady touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski.
Prediction: New England 41, San Diego 34
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills haven't beat the New England Patriots in a long, long time. Unfortunately for Bills fans, this season will be no different.
The Patriots' new terrifying look on the defensive line, which could potentially include the likes of Vince Wilfork, Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis, will just be too much to handle for the Bills' sub par offensive line. Expect a few interceptions from Fitzpatrick as well as multiple sacks for the Patriots' defense.
Prediction: New England 35, Bills 13
New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders
The Raiders lost the second best cornerback in the league, Nnamdi Asomugha, to free agency this offseason. However, this team swept their division last year and are poised to build off of their recent success.
The Raiders will surprisingly compete and hang around the Patriots for most of this game, but the Patriots will break away in the fourth quarter and will fly back to New England with yet another win.
Prediction: New England 34, Raiders 24
New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
Patriots fans have not forgotten what happened in the playoffs last year, and you can guarantee that Bill Belichick's team hasn't either.
The Patriots have improved on both sides of the ball, and many believe that most of their additions in free agency were a direct response to their shortcomings in the playoff loss to the Jets. The Patriots still have a bad taste in their mouths and have been itching to play these guys again since their bitter loss last January.
Much to the chagrin of Jets' fans, this is going to be a blowout, as the Pats send a painful reminder to the Jets that the New England Patriots are the reigning division champs.
Prediction: New England 38, New York 14
New England Patriots vs. Dallas Cowboys
After a disappointing 2010 campaign, the boys are looking to turn things around. Now being led by new head coach Jason Garrett, Dallas enters this game eager to prove that they still belong among elite teams in the league.
Perhaps due to a bit of overconfidence as a result of their big win over their archenemy Jets, the Pats let this one slip away. The Pats receive their first loss heading into the BYE week.
Prediction: Dallas 28, New England 21
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers
I can't recall the last time Bill Belichick hasn't won the game after the regular season BYE week. With an extra week to prepare and the sting of the unexpected loss to an inferior Cowboys team still apparent, the Patriots will come out swingin' as they take on the scrappy Steelers at Heinz Field.
The Steelers take an early lead in this game, but the Pats prove their resilience as they come back from behind and put the game away in the second half.
Prediction: New England 28, Pittsburgh 21
New England Patriots vs. New York Giants
Neither Bill Belichick nor Tom Brady will admit it during the week building up to this game, but there is no doubt that they both view this game as a means of vengeance. Bill and Tom still have nightmares about the New York Giants' shocking Super Bowl upset that destroyed the Patriots' dream of a perfect season.
The Patriots' offense will pile on so many points that they nearly forget about their Super Bowl loss. This will be a satisfying one for Patriots fans.
Prediction: New England 45, New York 17
New England Patriots at New York Jets
The Patriots enter New Meadowlands Stadium to once again go head-to-head with their much hated antagonists, the Jets.
The Jets bring their "A" game in hope of delivering a painful pay back to the Patriots. With many impressive plays by both clubs, this is a close game from beginning to end.
Tied in the fourth quarter, Tom Terrific orchestrates a brilliant drive that allows Stephen Gostkowski to kick a long field goal leaving only 30 seconds left on the game clock. Mark Sanchez and the Gang Green are unable to score in the remaining seconds. Alas, the Patriots have swept the Jets for the first time in the Rex Ryan era!
Prediction: New England 27, New York 24
New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts
Football fans across the world would agree that there is nothing like watching a Patriots vs. Colts game. For sports lovers, there is something momentous about watching two of the best quarterbacks of all time trying to out play one another.
These games always have a playoff vibe and usually come right down to the wire. This will be yet another high powered shoot out between these rivals, with a lot of touchdowns through the air.
Prediction: New England 35, Colts 34
New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Matt Cassel heads to New England to face his old team and try to match the play of his former pedagogue, Tom Brady.
New England's explosive and versatile offense puts up impressive numbers in both running and passing yards. The Patriots manage to tame the ferocious running attack of Jamaal Charles and force Cassel to win the game through the air. Ultimately, Brady's former back-up is unable to outscore the opposition.
Prediction: New England 38, Kansas City 23
New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia has without a doubt made the biggest splashes in free agency this offseason. Bringing in big names such as Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins and Jason Babin, it seems only fitting that they've adopted the nick name "the Dream Team."
By this time, four out of the Patriots last five opponents will have been playoff teams from last season. This is an unfavorable spot on the schedule for the Patriots. Considering the amount of talent Philadelphia has added to their already talented roster, this win will have to go to the Eagles.
Prediction: Philadelphia 28, Patriots 17
New England Patriots at Washington Redskins
Big Bad Albert Haynesworth and edge speedster Andre Carter head into their old stadium ready to wreak havoc on their dismal ex-football team.
The Patriots' defense has their best game of the season led by Big Al, who delivers two sacks and a forced fumble, while the offense returns to its true form, piling up a whole mess of touchdowns. The Pats earn their first shutout of the season.
Prediction: New England 45, Washington 0
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
New head coach John Fox looks to repair Denver's ghastly 4-12 team from a season ago as they welcome the juggernaut that is the New England Patriots into their stadium.
Denver will make improvements from last year, but will still be no match for the Super Bowl bound Patriots. The Pats will dominate every phase of this game and bring another win home to New England.
Prediction: New England 31, Denver 10
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
With the embarrassing blowout loss in the season opener still fresh in their minds, the Fins will be looking to redeem themselves despite having no chance at earning a playoff berth.
A team with nothing to lose is a dangerous team indeed, and the Dolphins unexpectedly show up and play hard, smash-mouth football. However, the Patriots will rise to the occasion and display their superiority over their division rivals, sweeping Miami for the second time in two seasons.
Prediction: New England 33, Miami 20
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills
In a meaningless Week 17 game, Tom Brady and most of the starters will only play for the first quarter, giving promising back-up quarterback Brian Hoyer and big armed rookie Ryan Mallet quality time running the offense. Both quarterbacks have formidable outings and help secure the last win of the Patriots astounding regular season.
Prediction: New England 30, Buffalo 17