a blog by La Kifo
I know I just kinda threw the Pats schedule at you guys with nothing really behind it. Here is my somewhat in depth look into the Patriots Schedule.
NFL.com put the Patriots 9th on strength of schedule, which makes some sense. The AFC East is starting to build another potential contender in the New York Jets, and we have to play them twice a year. Honestly, strength of schedule and projecting W/L right now is useless. The teams are not even close to being set. The draft is a week away and we are not even in preseason yet. W/L is all determined by how the rounded out roster looks, everyone knows that. I am not gonna give a projection of the Pats record this season. What I will talk about is the first half of the schedule and hard games to win.
Here is my shitty picture I made for the Pats schedule 2016. First game of the year, at Arizona. Zona and its sunburnt team had a great season last year going 13-3 winning the NFC West division. While they did lose in Divisional round of the playoffs, you could still say last year was a success for that team. They have the majority of the team returning, while they have added a huge piece in defensive end pass rusher Chandler Jones. That was something that hurt the team in the playoffs, an inability to sack the QB. Jones should bring a menacing, relentless pass rush to the Cardinals already strong defense. They have one of the best secondaries boasting Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson, Justin Bethel, and Tyvon Branch. All great players so they will have the personnel necessary to lock up the Patriots offensive weapons. Plus they have the pass rush, so offensively this game could be struggle. On the other side of the ball, defensively, the game should also be a struggle. Patriots fans know about the unreal talent we have in our linebacking core and defensive line, despite losing Jones and a wasted 1st round pick. Our problem will be the secondary v. the wide receivers. They have 3 great options in the passing game, Larry Fitzgerald, Jon Brown, Michael Floyd. Fitz and Floyd are two BIG physical guys, and Job Brown is a shorter speed guy. As of right now they do not have people to cover all three. I would imagine Logan Ryan goes on Michael Floyd and that will be a good match up, it could go either way. Then I think you have to Malcolm Butler on Jon Brown. The size and strength difference between Fitz and Butler is huge, putting Malcolm on Fitz would be an immediate mismatch. So that leaves us with Fitz, we could do bracket coverage with Chung and Justin Coleman. But I really think that would a exploited match up since Chung is a run specialist safety and Coleman is not the physical freak that Fitz is. Both Sides of the ball in this game should be challenge. A great football mans game to start the season, a real nail bitter for die hard Pats fans.
The other game I wanna talk about in the first half of the Pats season is at the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers should be another good game for the Pats. I think this Steelers team is a little weaker than last season before all their injuries. The defense is getting older, and they will missing Martavis Bryant for the entire season. All that in mind, it is still the Steelers and they are usually good. Big Ben still has a great arm and escapability, Le'Veon Bell should be able to come back from his knee injury, and they still have Antonio Brown. I see this game being a shootout as neither defense will really be able to hold the offenses under 20 points. If one defense has the chance to shut down the opposing team it would be the Patriots, they simply have better matchups on the outside. The Steelers tight end Heath Miller retired and the rapport he had with Ben is not something that comes along every day. The only threat the Steelers have on the outside is Antonio Brown, and last year when these two teams met up, Malcolm Butler played an inconceivably great game. I expect this one to go a lot like it did last season, but like I have said we still have the draft and preseason to figure shit out.
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