Patriots schedule 2021: Dates & times for all 17 games, strength of schedule, final record prediction

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The 2020 season was the Patriots’ first with out Tom Brady because the workforce’s main starter since he performed in only one sport within the 2008 season earlier than struggling a torn ACL. Fittingly, it additionally turned the primary time that the workforce missed the playoffs since that season. The Cam Newton-led Patriots posted a 7-9 report which was, extremely, the workforce’s first dropping season since Invoice Belichick’s squad posted a 5-11 report in the course of the 2000 marketing campaign.

Now in 2021, the Patriots will look to recapture the magic that shaped one of many longest dynasties in NFL historical past. The workforce was aggressive in free company this offseason and introduced in numerous veterans so as to add depth and expertise to their squad. Then, they made a giant transfer in deciding on Alabama QB Mac Jones within the first spherical of the ’21 NFL Draft, marking the primary time that they had chosen a quarterback within the first spherical since they spent the No. 1 total decide on Drew Bledsoe again in 1993.

The Patriots could look very completely different in ’21, however so does the remainder of the AFC East. As soon as the NFL’s weakest division, the Payments have changed into a threatening workforce underneath Sean McDermott whereas the Dolphins are on the rise underneath Brian Flores. As for the Jets, they’ve a brand new coach and a rookie quarterback, so if Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson develop into the actual deal, the Patriots’ divisional video games might show to be harder than they have been in fairly a while.

Additionally on the docket this 12 months for the Patriots are opponents from the AFC South and NFC South. That’ll imply matchups with some lowly groups just like the Texans, however they can even face some intriguing quarterbacks, chief amongst them rookie wunderkind Trevor Lawrence and previous pal and G.O.A.T. Tom Brady.

Here’s a full breakdown of the Patriots’ 2021 schedule, together with dates, begin occasions and evaluation for all 17 video games.

Patriots schedule 2021

The Patriots’ schedule was introduced as a part of the NFL’s schedule launch on Wednesday, Might 12:

Week Date Opponent Kickoff time  TV
1 Sept. 12 vs. Dolphins 4:25 p.m. ET CBS
2 Sept. 19 at Jets 1 p.m. ET CBS
3 Sept. 26 vs. Saints 1 p.m. ET Fox
4 Oct. 3 (SNF) vs. Buccaneers 8:20 p.m. ET NBC
5 Oct. 10 at Texans 1 p.m. ET CBS
6 Oct. 17 vs. Cowboys 4:25 p.m. ET CBS
7 Oct. 24 vs. Jets 1 p.m. ET CBS
8 Oct. 31 at Chargers 4:05 p.m. ET CBS
9 Nov. 7 at Panthers 1 p.m. ET CBS
10 Nov. 14 vs. Browns 1 p.m. ET CBS
11 Nov. 18 (TNF) at Falcons 8:20 p.m. ET Fox/NFL Community/Amazon Prime
12 Nov. 28 vs. Titans 1 p.m. ET CBS
13 Dec. 6 (MNF) at Payments 8:15 p.m. ESPN
14 Dec. 12 Bye week
15 Dec. 18 or 19 (TBD) at Colts TBD TBD
16 Dec. 26 vs. Payments 1 p.m. ET CBS
17 Jan. 2 at Jaguars 1 p.m. ET CBS
18 Jan. 9 at Dolphins 1 p.m. ET CBS

Maybe a bit extra explosiveness on offense together with COVID-related opt-outs returning to the workforce in 2021 will give the Patriots an opportunity to carry out at a extra steady stage. On the very least, they need to be higher on either side of the ball and can be capable to marry strong offensive play with upper-level defensive play. They lacked offense final 12 months when their unit completed twenty seventh within the league in whole yardage and scoring.Final 12 months, the Patriots might by no means get fairly get on observe due to a gradual begin to the season. They started the 12 months 2-1 and practically beat the Seahawks in an offensive shootout, however after Newton was sidelined resulting from a optimistic COVID take a look at in Week 4, they fell off. The Patriots would go on to lose their subsequent 4 consecutive video games, and whereas they finally obtained again to .500 on the three-quarter pole of the season, one other three-game dropping streak ended their possibilities of competing for a playoff spot.

One benefit of the Patriots’ 2021 schedule is that they are enjoying simply two highway video games towards groups that made the playoffs final season. They’ve 5 such opponents at house, however they need to have a greater probability of rattling a few of their warmer-weather and dome-based competitors within the chillier Foxboro.

Patriots power of schedule

Based mostly on final 12 months’s data, the Patriots’ power of schedule within the upcoming season ranks center of the pack at nineteenth total (0.489). Nonetheless, groups can change big-time year-to-year, and it is value noting that a number of the worst groups on their schedule needs to be higher in 2021.

The Cowboys will not be as unhealthy with Dak Prescott again from a leg harm and a few defensive upgrades. Trevor Lawrence will probably be quarterbacking the Jaguars as a substitute of Gardner Minshew. And, in fact, the brand new regime with the Jets might make their workforce a bit stronger than they had been final season.

So, whereas the Patriots’ schedule could look simpler than common on paper, it has an opportunity to be tougher than some could anticipate.

Hardest Checks: One of many largest video games on the schedule for the Patriots will probably be their date with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. That sport is at Gillette Stadium, however it is going to be an emotional revenge sport for each Brady and Belichick. The Bucs are elite, so the Patriots have to have their QB state of affairs found out earlier than that sport rolls round.

Dealing with the Payments twice will probably be no simple process both, particularly since they spent their first two draft picks upgrading their go rush to assist their already-strong protection. New England’s house schedule is hard basically, so the Patriots will hope to recreate a pleasant home-field benefit this 12 months or get fortunate with some cold-weather sport towards warm-weather groups.

Largest Breaks: The Texans are one of many laughingstocks of the NFL proper now, and Deshaun Watson won’t be accessible. The Patriots have had their quantity prior to now, so they need to be capable to handle the Texans this 12 months. In the meantime, the Jaguars’ offense will probably be higher with Lawrence at quarterback, however their protection continues to be a serious work in progress whereas City Meyer may have time to get Jacksonville adjusted to his system. And he too may have a while to regulate to the NFL.

There will probably be two different groups to observe with new quarterbacks: the Jets and the Saints. The Patriots have a greater roster than the Jets, so they need to be capable to deal with them except Wilson turns into a big-time playmaker early in his profession. As for the post-Drew Brees Saints, that workforce is pretty skinny and will probably be utilizing both Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill at QB. These video games aren’t simple, per se, but when the brand new QBs for every workforce battle, the matchups might flip into strong benefits for the Patriots.

Backside Line: It is onerous to like the Patriots’ schedule this season simply because there are such a lot of questions on not solely the groups they’re dealing with however concerning the Patriots themselves. Will Newton or Jones begin at quarterback? Have they got sufficient vast receivers to make a distinction towards groups that cowl tight ends effectively? These will probably be essential inquiries to reply.

The excellent news is that the workforce is dealing with three of final 12 months’s worst run defenses (Texans, Cowboys, and Jaguars), so even when the Patriots have QB questions, they need to be capable to run to victory on a number of events. And regardless of a troublesome schedule and depleted roster final 12 months, the workforce nonetheless managed to put up a 7-9 report because of robust teaching.

Anticipate the Patriots to hover across the .500 mark. Will they end equally to final 12 months, just under the mark, or with their additions, will Belichick take them to a profitable report? Extra possible, we’ll see the latter — we’ll give Belichick the advantage of the doubt.

However will the Patriots be a playoff workforce? It is too near name.

File Prediction: 10-7



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