Patriots: Breaking down the Patriots 2021 Schedule

The Patriots 2021 schedule is suppose to be unveiled tonight but the schedule has been leaked on line. Several sources have confirmed that this is in fact the Patriots schedule so here are my thoughts on it.

Familiar foes highlight weeks one and two: The Patriots kick off the season at home for the second straight season against the Miami Dolphins. New England beat Miami 21-11 in last season’s opener. Week two, the Patriots will travel to New York to take on Robert Saleh, Zach Wilson and the new look New York Jets.

Weeks 3 through 7 features four home games: This will be arguably the toughest stretch of the season for the Patriots. They play four of five at home but those games are against the Saints, Buccaneers, Cowboys and Jets. The lone road game in that stretch is week five at Houston.

Of course the game everyone will be circling in that stretch is the week four match up against old friend Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Tom Terrific returns to Foxboro for the first time since leaving in free agency in March of 2020.

The New Orleans and Dallas games will both be stiff challenges. The Patriots picked up Dallas when the league expanded to seventeen games.

On the road again: Weeks eight through thirteen features a stretch of four road games in six weeks. It includes a trip out west to take on the Chargers, a team the Patriots thumped last season 45-7. During this stretch, the Patriots wrap up NFC South play with trips to Carolina and Atlanta. After a tough home game against old friend Mike Vrabel, the Patriots visit Buffalo in Week 13 in a game that should major divisional implications.

Bye comes at the right time: The Week 14 bye comes at a good time for the Patriots. The later the bye, the better, especially with the expanded schedule. The Patriots will have the opportunity to heal after what should be a physical Buffalo game and it will give the coaches time to prepare for what should be a tough four game stretch to finish the season.

Sprint to the finish: The Patriots finish the season at Indianapolis, home against Buffalo and Jacksonville and at Miami. It is hard to believe I am saying this but that is a tough finish. Times have changed. The Colts are a legit playoff contender, the Bills and Dolphins are both perceived as being better than the Patriots in the AFC East and the Jaguars are improved. If the Patriots are going to make the playoffs, these four games are going to determine their fate.

Prediction Time: I am keeping it simple. I am picking every game on the schedule straight up and sharing my projected record with you. Here are my picks.

Week 1: Miami (Win)

Week 2: @ N.Y Jets (Win)

Week 3: New Orleans (Win)

Week 4: Tampa Bay (Loss)

Week 5 : @ Houston (Win)

Week 6: Dallas (Win)

Week 7: N.Y Jets (Win)

Week 8: @ L.A Chargers (Win)

Week 9: @ Carolina (Loss)

Week 10: Cleveland (Win)

Week 11: @ Atlanta (Win)

Week 12: Tennessee (Loss)

Week 13: @ Buffalo (Loss)

Week 14: BYE

Week 15: @ Indianapolis (Loss)

Week 16: Buffalo (Win)

Week 17: Jacksonville (Win)

Week 18: @Miami (Loss)

Projected Record: 11-6

Yes. I really believe this team can win 11 games. Obviously that will depend on the quarterback play but if it is better than last year and it should be, this is a playoff team. The schedule is tough but not as tough as last season. The upgrade in talent and improved quarterback play (fingers crossed) will be the difference.