New England Patriots Easiest Games of 2018

New England Patriots

The National League Football is unique in that a full regular season only contains 16 games. With such a small sample, every single game matters when it comes to playoff positioning and seeding. Because of this, the New England Patriots will have to take care of business against the weaker portion of their schedule. Without further ado, here are the New England Patriots easiest games for the 2018 season.

As for the eight hardest games, make sure to check back in a few days.

The New England Patriots Easiest Games in 2018

9. Week 10: at Tennessee Titans

Even though this should be one of the easier games of the season, this probably won’t be as one-sided as the 35-14 beatdown in the AFC Divisional Round last season. First-year head coach Mike Vrabel should be a considerable upgrade on former head coach Mike Mularkey, and Tennessee added several good players like Malcolm Butler, Dion Lewis, and first-round draft pick Rashaan Evans. Still, there are still too many pieces from last years Titans to believe they’ll put up much of a fight against New England.

10. Week Seven: at Chicago Bears

Don’t let the 5-11 record in 2017 fool you, these Chicago Bears have a good amount of talent on the roster. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen should be one of the best running back tandems in football, and Chicago added wide receivers Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller to help second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky. New head coach Matt Nagy should help the second-year passer improve on his promising rookie campaign.

Still, this is a young roster that is probably a year or two away from competing with the best of the best. Chicago will put up a fight, but New England should be able to overcome their best efforts.

11. Week Five: vs Indianapolis Colts

This game’s level of difficulty comes down to whether or not Andrew Luck can look like his old self. As of this posting, Luck is expected to be back in the starting lineup for the 2018 season. However, it’s anyone’s guess how he’ll look after missing an entire season with a shoulder injury. There’s no guarantee he comes back looking like the guy who led the league in touchdown passes in 2014.

Even if Luck is playing at his old level, the Colts roster is severely flawed. Outside of T.Y. Hilton, the Colts don’t really have any notable wide receivers. Marlon Mack showed promise his rookie year, but the second-year runner is still very much an unproven commodity. Their offensive line should remain one of the worst in football, and their defense needs a lot of work. When healthy, Luck is good enough to cover a lot of these holes, but he can’t cover all of them.

Week 12: at New York Jets

The New York Jets are arguably the Patriots biggest rivals, and they have a few interesting pieces in 2018. Safety Jamal Adams had a fantastic rookie season, and defensive end Leonard Williams is among the best in the league at his position. While the rest of the depth chart lacks top-end talent, there aren’t that many glaring weaknesses.

By week 12, first-round quarterback Sam Darnold will almost certainly be behind center. While it’s obviously impossible to know what Darnold will look like as a rookie, Bill Belichick has been historically successful against rookie quarterbacks.

The last time Belichick lost to a rookie was all the way back in 2010. Colt McCoy, Peyton Hillis, and the Cleveland Browns crushed New England, 34-14. Overall, the Patriots are 16-5 when facing rookie quarterbacks under Belichick. Not a good omen for Darnold and Gang Green.

13. Week Eight at Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills do not have much going for them entering 2018. Rookie quarterback Josh Allen has struggled in training camp, the defense is aging, and LeSean McCoy is the only true offensive weapon. If the home invasion charges against McCoy are true, then he might not even be on the Buffalo roster by Week Eight.

While playing on the road makes this game a little harder, the Patriots have never struggled in Buffalo. During the Brady Era, the Patriots are 15-2 against the Bills in Buffalo. The Bills don’t have the roster to match New England, and history is not on their side.

14. Week 17 vs New York Jets

The Jets always play the Patriots tough, but it’s hard to imagine this Week 17 matchup resulting in anything other than a Patriots victory. The last time the Jets beat the Patriots in Foxboro was all the way back in the 2010 AFC Divisional Round.

This team won’t have the talent to match New England, and they won’t have home-field advantage. Their best shot at victory is if the Patriots already have their playoff seeding locked up and have nothing to play for.

15. Week Five vs Miami Dolphins

While the Patriots struggle playing in Miami, those struggles typically don’t travel to Foxboro. Since 2001, the Patriots own a 15-2 record at home against Miami. That record improves to 15-1 when excluding the 2008 game, which Tom Brady missed due to injury.

On paper, Miami’s roster cannot hold a candle to New England’s. Ryan Tannehill has been a mixed bag at quarterback, and the Dolphins appear to be going into full tank mode. This team is not built to compete in 2018, and the Patriots roster is Super Bowl-caliber. This shouldn’t be much of a challenge.

16. Week 16 vs Buffalo Bills

The Bills simply should not be a good team in 2018, and they historically cannot win in Foxboro. Since the Brady Era began, Buffalo has only beat the Patriots twice in Foxboro. One of those wins came with Jacoby Brissett playing through a broken thumb. The other came in the final week of 2014 when the Patriots already clinched home-field advantage and had nothing to play for.

Buffalo has never genuinely beaten New England in Foxboro, and that probably won’t change this year. The Bills roster is severely flawed, while the Patriots will remain one of the best teams in football. Maybe the Bills will stand a chance when Brady and Bill Belichick retire.

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