What I will do here is break down each portion of the regular season like a quarter to give my insight on where the New England Patriots could do this season. This could be subject to change based on the 2012 NFL Draft picks along with the Madden Cover votes.
2012 New England Patriots Regular Season Schedule
Week 1 @ Tennessee Titans
Week 2 VS Arizona Cardinals
Week 3 @ Baltimore Ravens
Week 4 @ Buffalo Bills
Week 5 VS Denver Broncos
Week 6 @ Seattle Seahawks
Week 7 VS New York Jets
Week 8 @ St. Louis Rams
Week 9 Bye Week
Week 10 VS Buffalo Bills
Week 11 VS Indianapolis Colts
Week 12 @ New York Jets
Week 13 @ Miami Dolphins
Week 14 VS Houston Texans
Week 15 VS San Francisco 49ers
Week 16 @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 17 VS Miami Dolphins
First Quarter Prediction New England is unsure of whether to prepare for pocket passer Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker. The Tennessee Titans are able to sneak a win by New England at home because they are extremely underrated as a team. Losing a season opener to Tennessee gives the Patriots a wake up call they need.
In week 2 the Patriots would host the Arizona Cardinals in a home opener for New England. Winning 38 to 14 against the Cardinals while limiting Larry Fitzgerald to 7 receptions, 52 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown with the Patriots current secondary is a great message to send to the rest of the league in 2012.
The Patriots face the Baltimore Ravens and the Buffalo Bills in weeks 3 and 4. Both teams have defenses that can give Tom Brady fits. Both teams host Tom Brady. I will go against the grain and say that New England loses both games concerning some loyal Patriots fans about a 1-3 start.
Second Quarter Prediction New England decides to go on a 4 game winning streak. New England drops video game numbers on NFL defenses in October after a rocky September start.
New England’s 4 wins put them at 5-3 on the year heading into the bye week. This gives New England 2 weeks to prepare for a rematch against a Bills team. The New York Jets are 4-4 with Mark Sanchez and may make a switch to tim Tebow if Sanchez does not generate a winning streak.
Third Quarter Prediction New England gets a win against a Buffalo Bills team that jump to 6-2 start. The Patriots host a Indianapolis Colts team that gets off to a 7-2 start with Andrew Luck. The Patriots win both games and go to 7-3 on the season with 4 games left. The New York Jets drop to 4-5 before switching to Tebow at quarterback.
The New York Jets get back to .500 as Tebow wins his first start against Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams. New York defeats New England on Thanksgiving and New England wins the following week putting them at 8-4 with 4 regular season games left.
Fourth Quarter Prediction New England is able to win 3 out of their final 4 games. A home loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football is the only remote dent in their play down the stretch in New England’s final 4 regular season games.
People will write off San Francisco. San Francisco will believe they could have beaten New England for the Super Bowl had they defeated the New York Giants in the NFC Championship last season. That will motivate the 49ers to win one against New England.
Last year I had the Ravens getting home field before losing to New England in the AFC Championship. The Ravens ended up losing to New England at Gillette Stadium. In the preseason I had the Atlanta Falcons defeating New England to win Super Bowl 46. The team that defeated the Atlanta Falcons in their wild card game, the New York Giants would go on to defeat New England in a Super Bowl 42 rematch 5 years later.
This is my projected top 6 AFC seeds based on examining the 2012 Schedule.
1 Seed Buffalo Bills 12-4 The Bills brought in 2 pass rushers plus will be able to shore up their offensive line with a blue chip left tackle at ten. The Bills did not even have a very talented team in terms of overall talent heading into last season and showed lots of promise before a Fred Jackson injury ruined their playoffs.
2 Seed Denver Broncos 10-6 A game between the 10-5 Kansas City Chiefs and the 9-6 Denver Broncos decides who gets this spot on Week 17. Manning prevails in the clutch after the Chiefs take the first meeting.
3 Seed Tennessee Titans 9-7 The Titans have a great supporting cast of players on both sides of the ball. The Titans need a center and a nickel cornerback in the draft. The Titans have the luxury of going best player available in the draft given the amount of upcoming players the team has on their depth chart.
4 Seed Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7 The Steelers get off to a 4-0 start due to an easy schedule. Pittsburgh loses to Tennessee on the road losing 4 straight games. Pittsburgh wins 2 straight to get to 6-4 before losing 2 straight to Cleveland on Thanksgiving weekend and Baltimore on the road putting them at 6-6. Pittsburgh finishes with 3 out four home wins to take the AFC North while Joe Flacco struggles against the Manning brothers in December causing Baltimore to finish 8-8.
5 Seed New England Patriots 11-5 The Patriots start 1-3. New England gets their act together to win 6 straight putting them at 7-3. New England drops to 7-4 after Thanksgiving. One team surprises New England in December.
6 Seed New York Jets 11-5 The Jets start 0-2. Their on the brink of benching Sanchez. Sanchez gets his act together and the Jets are 4-2 at one point. Three straight losses causing the Jets to fall to 4-5 while New England and Buffalo are both sitting at 6-3 cause the Jets to summon Tim Tebow. Tebowmania gets renewed after being syndicated and the Jets win 7 straight to make the 2012 NFL Playoffs as the final wild card.
The Chiefs finished 10-6 after looking at the schedule for all the NFL regular season games with teams like the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, and San Diego Chargers all at 8-8.
New England gets by Pittsburgh in the wild card game as Brady picks apart an aging Steel Curtain defense. Denver ends up getting revenge on the Patriots ending New England’s season after New England defeated Denver on 3 straight occasions dating back to last years regular season contest against Tim Tebow in Denver.
Tim Tebow defeats the Titans and the Bills setting up a Jets VS Broncos AFC Title game. In the NFC we see the 6 seed Green Bay Packers knock off Tampa Bay and the 1 seed New York Giants before they travel to the Detroit Lions who defeated Green Bay twice in the regular season. Detroit draws an easy first round bye game against a Seattle Seahawks NFC West winner at Ford Field. This helps the Lions propel their way to the NFC Title.
Green Bay gets revenge on Detroit in the postseason when it counts in the NFC Title Game to advance to New Orleans. Tim Tebow makes Elway look foolish for trading him to the Jets as New York defeats Denver 31 to 17 in the AFC Championship game.
The New York Jets face the Green Bay Packers in New Orleans for Super Bowl 47. Everyone doubts that Tebow can win the big game and Green Bay enters New Orleans as heavy favorites. Everyone talks about how Rodgers is going to one up Favre by winning his 2nd Super Bowl in New Orleans the same place where Favre won his first title. Tebow takes MVP honors in a 24 to 21 Jets win as New York pulls the upset.
I really want New England to win one more championship as a fan. The defense performed really poorly last season. New England has not wowed me yet with any big defensive moves. The other thing to consider is that Super Bowl losers usually struggle the following season. I strongly believe the Patriots season will come down to who New England drafts on defense next Thursday.
If someone could fax this to Bill Belichick that would be great. Not only would Belichick get a hoot out of this, he might actually use this propaganda as a motivational tool to challenge the Patriots to win the Super Bowl in 2012 after falling short against the New York Giants last season.