The Patriots 2022 schedule was unveiled last night. The schedule features five primetime games including a Thanksgiving Day night game in Minnesota. The front end of the schedule is daunting with three road games in the first four weeks. The one home game is the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens. The back end of the schedule is tough to with trips to Arizona, Las Vegas and Buffalo. Add the Bengals coming to Foxboro on Christmas night and the schedule is tough.
Here are the ten games that I am looking forward to this season.
#1: Week 15: At Las Vegas Raiders: This match up is fascinating to me. Taking on old friend Josh McDaniels on the road will be challenging. McDaniels knows the Patriots organization as well as anyone. With several former Patriots signing with the Raiders this off season, it makes this game even more intriguing. There will be plenty on the line when these two teams meet late in the season.
#2 Week 4: At Green Bay Packers: The Patriots are visiting Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Week 4. The last time these two teams played was in 2018 when the Patriots beat Green Bay 31-17. The last time the two teams met at Lambeau was in 2014. The Packers won that match up 26-21.
The two teams have met 12 times including Super Bowl XXXI. They have split the 12 match ups head to head so you know this will be another classic between the two.
#3 Week 13 Buffalo Bills: Remember the days when Patriots, Bills game didn’t mean anything? Yeah. That wasn’t that long ago. Times have changed now as Buffalo now rules the AFC East.
The Bills game has now become must watch television whether the game is here or in Buffalo. The two teams have played some close games in recent years but everyone remembers the Bills demolishing the Patriots in last year’s Wild Card game.
#4 Week 16 Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals visit Gillette Stadium on Christmas Eve Day. Joe Burrow and company have the second toughest schedule in the league this upcoming season so they should be battle tested by the time they get to Foxboro. This game will have major playoff implications..
#5 Week 12 at Minnesota Vikings: The Patriots will be playing on Thanksgiving for the first since 2012. In the past they have played Detroit and the Jets, but this time they are playing a Thanksgiving night game against the Vikings, a team that is in transition but still very talented and dangerous. This will be a big game that could have divisional and playoff ramifications.
#6 Week 2 at Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers will be without Ben Roethlisberger for the first time since 2004. Is it a rebuild in Pittsburgh? No, but the Patriots have no idea who they will see under center in Week 2. Regardless of who the quarterback is, the Steelers are always tough to play at home. This will be another challenging road game to start the season.
#7 Week 14 at Arizona Cardinals: The Patriots are playing the Cardinals in the extra game this season. Going out to the West Coast is always daunting. The Patriots have to do it twice this season. Arizona is explosive on offense and are always tough at home. This should be a battle for the Patriots but a game they can win. They will need it. It is another end of season game that will determine playoff seeding.
#8 Week 1 at Miami Dolphins: Tough way to open the season against new coach Mike McDaniel and the revamped Dolphins. Miami made some major upgrades this off-season adding Tyreek Hill and former Patriot Sony Michel among others. Miami has been a house of horrors for the Patriots through the years, especially during the Belichick era. Factor in the heat and humidity and this is a tough opener.
#9 Week 9 Indianapolis Colts: Former Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan comes to Gillette with his new team in the middle of the season. This will be a tough match up. Indianapolis is talented and a legitimate playoff contender. They are well coached. The Colts haven’t fared well in Foxboro through the years but I wouldn’t take this team lightly. The Patriots won’t.
#10 Week 7 Chicago Bears: The Bears represent a winnable game but with Justin Fields and his playmaking ability under center, they could give the Patriots problems defensively. Chicago has one of the worst rosters in the league but they are talented enough to come in here and give the Patriots all they can handle. It is the NFL. The talent gap isn’t that wide.