New England Patriots Most Difficult Games in 2022

Patriots Most Difficult

Each Season, Last Word On Sports analyzes all 32 NFL teams’ schedules, breaking them down from the most difficult games to the easiest in a two-part series. Here is a look at the New England Patriots most difficult games in 2022. 

Most Difficult Games on the 2022 Patriots Schedule

1. At Buffalo Bills, Week 18.

In the past two matchups between these teams, the Patriots could not stop the Bills offense, literally. The Bills never punted in either game, and that was when the Patriots had star cornerback J.C. Jackson on the roster. The Patriots hope to fill that void this season by bringing Malcolm Butler out of retirement and adding veteran Terrance Mitchell. So, stopping Josh Allen from finding Stefon DiggsGabriel Davis, and Dawson Knox will be their most daunting challenge and this will be their most difficult game. 

2. Buffalo Bills, Week 13

After a strong offseason, the Bills are the favorite to win the Super Bowl. They added Von Miller, had a strong draft where they invested on defense and will get back star cornerback Tre’Davious White, returning from a torn ACL. The Bills only improved. Meanwhile, the Patriots appear to have taken a step backward defensively. 

The Patriots will be looking for payback in the season’s first meeting with their division rivals. However, the Bills would also like payback for all the years the Patriots dynasties dominated the division. Now the Bills are poised to dominate for the foreseeable future. 

3. Cincinnati Bengals, Week 16, (Christmas Eve)

As conference champions and Super Bowl contenders, the Bengals will be coming into Gillette Stadium with a lot of confidence on Christmas Eve. They have improved their offensive line by signing free agents Ted Karras and Alex Cappa. Defensively, they drafted Daxton Hill in the first round, and he projects as an impact player at corner, nickel, or safety. 

Joe BurrowJa’Marr ChaseTee HigginsTyler Boyd, and Joe Mixon are a tough matchup for any defense, but it is a nightmare for a team without a shutdown corner. The Patriots will likely have to play zone a lot, which does not bode well. They will be giving up many short throws not to get beat deep. However, the Bengals receivers and Mixon will be tough to tackle after the catch, and the defense will not have time to get to Burrow. So, the Patriots have their work cut out in their third most difficult game.  

4. At Green Bay Packers, Week 4

Heading into Lambeau Field to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers is daunting. Even though they replaced Davante Adams with Sammy Watkins, the Packers have the same odds (+1000) as the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl. The oddsmakers clearly believe in the power of having an elite quarterback. 

Rodgers still has some good players around him. Running back Aaron Jones, who can catch passes, is likely their best weapon and will see his volume increased. He also has Allen LazardRandall Cobb, and Robert Tonyan to throw to, and they have good chemistry. Defensively, they drafted some firepower out of Georgia with both first-round picks; linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt. They will likely make an impact in this game.  

5. Indianapolis Colts, Week 9

Last season the Colts had a weak passing game, but now they have a solid quarterback, Matt Ryan. The Patriots will not be able to load the box to stop the run because they will have to respect the passing game, making the Colts running back, Jonathan Taylor, even more dangerous. 

Defensively, they added Stephon Gilmore to an already stout defense. He will likely put the “Gilly Lock” on either Devante Parker or Nelson Agholor. Meanwhile, the Patriots will have to keep defensive end Kwity Paye and linebacker Darius Leanord off Mac Jones. Hopefully, the Patriots new offensive coordinator will have some tricks up his sleeve.  

6. At the Cleveland Browns, Week 6

Assuming Deshaun Watson plays, the Browns at home will be another difficult matchup for the Patriots. Watson will have Amari Cooper as his top receiver now, and he will be tougher to cover than ever. One reason is that Watson is the best quarterback he will have ever played with, and also Watson’s ability to buy more time for his receivers to get open. 

If the passing game is not going right, Watson can take off running, and the Patriots will struggle to catch him. The running backs, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, were already hard to tackle, and now they will have more room to run because defenses have to respect the passing game. This is going to be a sneaky hard game on the road. 

7. Baltimore Ravens, Week 3

Even though the Ravens lost Marquise Brown, the oddsmakers still have a lot of respect for the Ravens. They still have a potent team with Lamar JacksonMark Andrews, a strong running game, solid defense, and a good coach.

Bill Belichick’s defensive schemes have slowed down Jackson in the past and helped the Patriots beat the Ravens. They will have to do that without a shutdown corner, and luckily they can manage without one against the Ravens.  

8. At the Miami Dolphins, Week 1

Anyone who has been to Florida in September knows how hot and humid the weather can be. Playing a football game in that weather is hard for people that are not acclimated, like the Patriots. There will likely be IVs, heat exhaustion, dehydration, and cramps. 

If the weather is not brutal enough for the Patriots, they will also have to contain Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They had a hard time beating this team without Hill; they lost both games against the Dolphins last season. Brian Flores was a big part of those wins, and even though he is not there, this team will still be a problem for the Patriots. The new coach, Mike McDaniel is no slouch; he has been around the league for 17 years. He is offensive-minded and will likely be a great head coach.  

9. At the Las Vegas Raiders, Week 15

The Patriots will visit old friend Josh McDaniels and his revamped Raiders, but it will not be a friendly game. The Raiders offense will be hard to stop since they have added Davante Adams to an already potent offense. Defensively, they added another old friend who is a sack monster, Chandler Jones. With McDaniels’ intricate knowledge of the Patriots, they will have a tough task on the road. 

[Read the Patriots Easiest Games here]

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