Continuing the two-part series, this article analyses the New England Patriots easiest games in 2022. The Patriots have a daunting schedule on paper this season, but things can change quickly. Games that look like losses can easily turn into a win and vice versa. Last season, injuries and Covid decimated opponents, and the Patriots capitalized. Any outcome is possible in today’s NFL. [Read the Patriots Most Difficult Games here]
Easiest Games on the New England Patriots 2022 Schedule
10. At Arizona Cardinals, Week 14
Unfortunately, the Patriots will not get to play the Cardinals in the first six weeks of the season while DeAndre Hopkins is suspended. They will not only have to cover him, but also Marquise Brown, A.J. Green, and Andy Isabella. If they manage to cover everyone well, Kyler Murray will just take off running, and he can fly. If he does run, the lack of speed at linebacker makes the Patriots vulnerable.
Defensively the Cardinals lost Chandler Jones but will get back J.J. Watt. He is hard for any team to block, but he will be especially difficult for this new look Patriots offensive line. Watt’s ability to take over a game, combined with a potent offense at home, is why this will be one of the more difficult games. Yet, it ends up on the easy list because there are so many difficult games.
11. At the Minnesota Vikings, Week 12
Most analysts are overlooking the difficulty of this game. The Vikings offense is explosive, and the Patriots will have a hard time covering Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. If they manage to slow them down, the Vikings can hand it off to one of the best running backs in the league, Dalvin Cook. The best hope for the Patriots is that Bill Belichick will be able to confuse Kirk Cousins and cause turnovers by giving him some different looks defensively.
12. Miami Dolphins, Week 17
A home game against the Dolphins used to look good on the schedule for the Patriots; now, it is a challenge. The Dolphins have only improved, and the Patriots no longer have “Mr. Interception,” J.C. Jackson, or linebacker Kyle Van Noy.
This game should have playoff implications for the Dolphins, and they will be highly motivated. The weather is an advantage for the Patriots this time; the nastier, the better. Even if the Dolphins have an excellent young coach, the Patriots will have the coaching advantage, which will be their best chance to contain the Dolphins.
13. At Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 2
No matter who the quarterback is, the Patriots should be able to confuse him often, which should be the most significant factor in this game. The Steelers have several quarterbacks, Mason Rudolph, Mitch Trubisky, and rookie Kenny Pickett, but they have yet to name a starter.
With a strong run game, good receivers, and a solid defense, the Steelers will not be a pushover at home, but this should be one of the easier games on the schedule.
14. Detroit Lions, Week 5
Fans may overlook the Lions because of their past, but if you look closer, they are improving. Despite being ranked as the fourth easiest game on the Patriots schedule, thE Patriots cannot merely show up and win.
The Lions offense has firepower. Jared Goff will likely throw to Jameson Williams, T.J Hockenson, D.J. Chark, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. Also, running backs D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams will be a load to bring down. However, Bill Belichick has been great at confusing Goff, and Goff is prone to turnovers. Defensively, the Lions struggle, which is how the Patriots can beat them.
15. At New York Jets, Week 8
This game will be slightly more challenging than the home game against the Jets only because it is on the road, but the Patriots should still be a heavy favorite.
16. New York Jets, Week 11
The Jets are improving, and they had a solid offseason, but they still have a long way to go to compete in the division. They upgraded most positions on the roster, but they still have one glaring need: run stoppers. Their run defense may be worse than last year, and they lost their best interior run stopper to free agency. That is music to the ears of the Patriots. They should gash the Jets up the middle all day and then catch them with play-action. This game should be their second easiest in 2022.
17. Chicago Bears, Week 7
Chicago is early into rebuilding, and most analysts have written them off. Their young quarterback, Justin Fields, is a dual-threat, but he lost his top receiver, Allen Robinson. Now, he is throwing to Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle, Marquise Goodwin, Equanimeous St. Brown, Cole Kmet, Ryan Griffen, and the ghost of Jimmy Graham. None of these players will intimidate the Patriots, but they are capable of making plays.
Their biggest threat other than Fields taking off is running back David Montgomery, who can catch passes and break tackles. Defensively they lost Khalil Mack, and they started to rebuild through the draft. So, the Patriots should be able to score points and contain their offense. This will be their easiest game.