The NFL has finally given us what we’ve all been waiting for, the 2020 regular season schedule! In an ideal world, the NFL season will start on time. However, given the state of the world and the coronavirus pandemic still running rampant across much of the United States, it is entirely possible that even the NFL will see a setback. Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best for the season to start on time.
Just before Christmas, we learned who the Patriots would face in the 2020 season. Of course, they will face the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets twice per team. Gillette Stadium will host games versus the 49ers, Broncos, Cardinals, Raiders, and Ravens. Additionally, they will take on the Chargers, Cheifs, Rams, Seahawks, and Texans, in their respective cities. This is the toughest strength of schedule for the NFL for this upcoming season as opposed to having one of the easiest in the 2019 season.
.@Patriots have the toughest strength of schedule entering 2020 based on 2019 opponents’ record (.537 win %)
1st time w/ toughest SOS entering season in Belichick era
Top 10 toughest SOS in 5 of 9 Super Bowl seasons since 2001
Easiest SOS twice in Belichick era (2008, 2012)
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) May 7, 2020
Before the season officially gets underway, the Patriots will take on former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and the Lions for Week 1 of the preseason. Followed by Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers, both games at Gillette. Weeks 3 and 4 of the preseason, the Patriots will be away facing off against the NFC East in the Eagles and Giants, respectively.
The Pats have their bye week (Week 6), their earliest since 2015 (Week 4). Hopefully, the team can stay healthy for the remaining ten weeks of the regular season.
The Patriots will have five games in prime time, including a Super Bowl 53 rematch for the Week 14 Thursday night showdown; which will be their sole Thursday night game. Two of the other prime time slots will be on ESPN with Monday Night Football against the Jets for Week 9, and Bills during Week 16.
The team opens up the season squaring up against my personal rival, the Miami Dolphins. We’ll get our first glimpse of former Patriots Kyle Van Noy and Elandan Roberts in their new teal and orange uniforms. The Patriots travel to Kansas City, Week 4, and face Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the reigning Super Bowl champions on their turf. The first of the teams’ five prime time games will be Week 2 when the Patriots take on Russel Wilson and the Seahawks.
It will be fun to see Jarrett Stidham on his, surely tough, journey to being the New England Patriots QB1 this season. Being cautiously optimistic, I think it’s entirely possible for the Patriots to stay above .500. It will definitely be a challenge but with Bill Belichick as head coach, anything is possible!
They didn’t release any potential playoff schedule, so we’ll just have to wait and see when the Patriots will face the Buccaneers for Super Bowl 55 in Tampa Bay’s home stadium.
-Jess Donahue (@jldx392)
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