New England Patriots’ Schedule 2014: Predicting the Outcome of Every Game

New England Patriots' Schedule 2014 Predicting the Outcome of Every Game

New England Patriots
Greg M. Cooper – USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots overachieved in 2013 by finishing 12-4 but they easily could’ve gone 9-7 if not for some lucky breaks. They will need some of that luck because they enter the 2014 season with the 10th toughest schedule and play six games against teams that made the playoffs in 2013. Brutal road stretches will once again be a challenge, but they should still make the playoffs. Here are predictions for every game this coming season.

Week 1 at Miami Dolphins - 34-20 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Brad Barr - USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 at Miami Dolphins - 34-20 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Brad Barr - USA TODAY Sports

This is a perfect opening game as the Dolphins have a new offensive coordinator and an offensive line that is still in the rebuilding process. It will be a decent test for the allegedly new and improved defensive minded Patriots because the Dolphins have weapons, but if the defense can get pressure on QB Ryan Tannehill, who spent most of 2013 running for his life, it should turn into an easy road victory.

Week 2 at Minnesota Vikings – 31-21 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Marc Lebryk - USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 at Minnesota Vikings – 31-21 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Marc Lebryk - USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have the offensive weapons to challenge the Patriots, but they do not have a competent quarterback to effectively utilize them. The Vikings also have new head coach so all of those weapons are learning a new system, which always presents challenges. The only way the Patriots lose is if their run defense is as dreadful as last season and they can’t stop Adrian Peterson from running roughshod all over them.

Week 3: vs. Oakland Raiders – 28-10 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
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Week 3: vs. Oakland Raiders – 28-10 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Getty Images

It’s the Patriots' home opener and it is a cakewalk. The Raiders have added some nice pieces in the offseason, but one of them was Matt Schaub who looked mentally defeated last season with the Houston Texans and hasn’t beaten the Patriots since 2009.

Week 4 at Kansas City Chiefs – 20-13 (LOSS)

New England Patriots Schedule
Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 at Kansas City Chiefs – 20-13 (LOSS)

New England Patriots Schedule
Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

It is a home game for the Chiefs, and Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest places to play. It will be a true test for the Patriots' erratic and young offense. Will the Tom Brady get the production he needs from his young wide receivers is a question that needs to be answered, and I’m still not sold. The Chiefs' defense will swarm Brady all day forcing him to throw to someone other than Julian Edelman which never works out well.

Week 5 vs. Cincinnati Bengals – 24-17 (LOSS)

New England Patriots Schedule
Marc Lebryk - USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 vs. Cincinnati Bengals – 24-17 (LOSS)

New England Patriots Schedule
Marc Lebryk - USA TODAY Sports

Everyone assumes last year was a fluke and this time it’s a home game for the Patriots, but the result will be the same. The Bengals' defense will give Brady nightmares as the offense attempts to incorporate its array of unreliable receivers, and it’s debatable whether the same group of running backs will have any success this year. The one bright spot is Brandon Browner debuts, but A.J. Green will still torch the Patriots' secondary.

Week 6 at Buffalo Bills – 38-21 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Winslow Townson - USA TODAY Sports

Week 6 at Buffalo Bills – 38-21 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Winslow Townson - USA TODAY Sports

On paper this match-up looks tougher than it actually is. Sure the Bills overhauled their defense by signing adding a pair of LBs in Brandon Spikes and Keith Rivers, but the Patriots know Spikes is terrible in pass coverage and will take advantage of that weakness. Also, the Patriots' defense with Darrelle Revis, Browner and company should easily contain E.J. Manuel.

Week 7 vs. New York Jets – 27-21 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

Week 7 vs. New York Jets – 27-21 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

The Jets will be coming off a grueling part of their schedule traveling to San Diego and then hosting the Denver Broncos before traveling to New England who will be fresh off an easy victory lap against Buffalo. The Jets have questions at QB, no lock-down CB and no real offensive weapon to worry the Patriots' defense other than Eric Decker, but Mike Vick and Geno Smith are interception throwing machines.

Week 8 vs. Chicago Bears – 31-34 (LOSS)

New England Patriots Schedule
Howard Smith - USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 vs. Chicago Bears – 31-34 (LOSS)

New England Patriots Schedule
Howard Smith - USA TODAY Sports

Do the Bears still have Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall -- who owns the Patriots' defense -- and Matt Forte? The answer is yes. Sure, the Bears' defense is slightly mediocre, but the Patriots' offense can be hit or miss at times as it was most of last season. You can talk about Darrelle Revis, but he can’t cover everyone. The Bears have enough weapons that Kyle Arrington will be on the field and then it's game over.

Week 9 vs. Denver Broncos – 42-38 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

Week 9 vs. Denver Broncos – 42-38 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

I give the edge to New England because it is a home game. Does that mean the Patriots are better? Absolutely not. One key factor will be if Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Darrelle Revis are still healthy by Week 9. It will be a true test to determine if the Patriots are really an improved defense or if they are the same bending and breaking one of recent years. However, winning this game means nothing for the playoffs as last season proved.

Week 10 BYE

New England Patriots Schedule
David Butler II - USA TODAY Sports

Week 10 BYE

New England Patriots Schedule
David Butler II - USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots will have a chance to recover from an emotional victory over the Denver Broncos before beginning one of the toughest stretches of the season with three road games over the following four weeks following their bye.

Week 11 at Indianapolis Colts – 27-24 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Andrew Weber - USA TODAY Sports

Week 11 at Indianapolis Colts – 27-24 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Andrew Weber - USA TODAY Sports

Some people are predicting a Colts win because it’s being played at Lucas Oil Stadium, but I just don’t see it. The Patriots have tortured the Andrew Luck led Colts, outscoring them 102-46 in both meetings, and Luck has thrown seven interceptions in those games. Even with a depleted defense the Patriots still dominated the Colts, and outside of T.Y. Hilton, who should the Patriots' defense be worried about? Trent Richardson? That’s just funny.

Week 12 vs. Detroit Lions – 30-28 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Andrew Weber - USA TODAY Sports

Week 12 vs. Detroit Lions – 30-28 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Andrew Weber - USA TODAY Sports

I don’t care who the Patriots have covering Calvin Johnson; he is going to destroy the defense. However, Mathew Stafford will lose this game for the Lions, which has become the routine in Detroit. Another factor is the game is in New England, and the Lions will be coming off a trip to Arizona before their annual Thanksgiving Day game the following week. The Lions' defense is prone to giving up points, so the Patriots' offense should be just fine.

Week 13 at Green Bay Packers – 38-31 (LOSS)

New England Patriots Schedule
Benny Sieu - USA TODAY Sports

Week 13 at Green Bay Packers – 38-31 (LOSS)

New England Patriots Schedule
Benny Sieu - USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots went 4-4 last season on the road, and Lambeau Field is one of the toughest places to play, especially late in the season. Aaron Rodgers, coming off an injury-plagued 2013, is looking to rebound, the addition of Julius Peppers will challenge the inconsistent offensive line of the Patriots and Sam Shields will make Aaron Dobson look horrible. It should be high scoring, but the Packers just have too many offensive weapons to control.

Week 14 at San Diego Chargers – 24-17 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Ron Chenoy - USA TODAY Sports

Week 14 at San Diego Chargers – 24-17 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Ron Chenoy - USA TODAY Sports

I predict a win, but it won’t be easy. Coming off a rough road trip to Green Bay and then flying to San Diego is rough, but Philip Rivers has only one win against the Patriots in 2008. The Chargers' offense with Antonio Gates, Keenan Allen, Eddie Royal and Ryan Mathews will cause problems for the Patriots' defense, but the Chargers are aren’t exactly the “Steel Curtain” either. If the defense does their job, Brady will do the rest.

Week 15 vs. Miami Dolphins – 27-21 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Robert Mayer - USA TODAY Sports

Week 15 vs. Miami Dolphins – 27-21 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
Robert Mayer - USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Tannehill is 1-3 in his career against the Patriots, and the Dolphins never do well in New England in December. If the Patriots' defense has remained healthy, there is no reason to believe they shouldn’t be able to stuff the running attack, pressure Tannehill -- who if he is still getting sacked like in 2013, will have developed a case of “happy feet” -- and get the easy victory.

Week 16 at New York Jets – 20-14 (LOSS)

New England Patriots Schedule
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

Week 16 at New York Jets – 20-14 (LOSS)

New England Patriots Schedule
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

Against Rex Ryan, the Patriots are 3-2 in New Jersey, and the Jets inevitably always steal a game from the Patriots. If they can replicate last season's win where they had four sacks and only allowed 90 rushing yards, then the Patriots will be in for a long, frustrating day.

Week 17 vs. Buffalo Bills – 30-14 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
David Butler II - USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 vs. Buffalo Bills – 30-14 (WIN)

New England Patriots Schedule
David Butler II - USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots have never lost to the Bills at Gillette Stadium, and that trend will continue. The Patriots should improve on their 31st ranking in rushing yards allowed last season allowing them to shut down the Bills' rushing attack. And unless EJ Manuel turns into Peyton Manning during the season, the Patriots' secondary has little to fear and it should be a nice win to end the season.


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