I started The Hook Boston back in 2015, been talking Boston sports since 2012.
Guest Post: Pat Pitts
Can you feel that? Can you feel that exciting feeling racing through your body? What is it, you may ask? The NFL schedule has been released today. Praise the Lord!! The New England Patriots will be defending their 6th Super Bowl championship, 3rd in five years. Yes, you read that correct. Three Super Bowl championships in five years. Insanity.
The NFL offseason jumped out to a hot start with major moves. A Bell transformed into a Jet. A top three receiver traded in his gold for silver. And a Giant trade got a team out of the Dawg House. The NFL continued this exciting offseason with the release of the season schedule. Teams will head back to London for games over the pond. Mexico will attempt to successfully host a primetime game as the Chiefs and Chargers will face off in a divisional matchup across the border.
I have one problem with the schedule for this season. The NFL season will not kick off with the defending Super Bowl champions. While I could sit here and write hundreds of words why I believe the Patriots should open up the season, I can see where the league is coming from. The Packers and Bears are the longest standing rivalry in the NFL, and they should rightfully open the 100th season of the league. This pushes the Patriots first game to Sunday Night Football against their biggest rival in the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Carrie Underwood will not be the only one waiting all day for Sunday night; football fans across the nation will be too.
After carefully analyzing New England’s schedule for the 2019 season, let’s break down some of the key games for Belichick’s squad.
Week 1: Pittsburgh Steelers (Home, Sunday Night Football)
The Patriots will raise another banner in Foxboro this season. They open 2019 against a team that has been a thorn in their side for the past ten years. How fitting. The Steelers will step into Gillette for the first time since 2010 without two of their superstars on the offensive side of the ball. The era of Juju Smith and James Conner will commence. Last time the Patriots opened their season against the Steelers, they dominated. I can see the same result come this September.
Week 7: New York Jets (Away, Monday Night Football)
The Brady Bunch travel to MetLife Stadium to face Le’veon Bell in his new home. The Jets made some significant signings this offseason already adding Bell and Jamison Crowder to the offense. Then signing CJ Mosley from the Ravens on the defense. The Jets put themselves in a situation to succeed with the signings, but how will the square up against New England. This will be an exciting game to watch as Darnold looks to legitimize himself and his team on the primetime platform. Last season, the Pats destroyed the Jets in both games winning by an average margin of 24.5. I do not see this happening again as the Jets will steal one against the Pats in this one.
Week 8: Cleveland Browns (Home)
The Browns are a legitimate threat this season. Last season, rookie QB Baker Mayfield nearly led them to a playoff berth, notching seven wins. Adding superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. makes them a favorite to win the AFC North. It would be the team’s first division title since 1989, when they won the AFC Central. This already has potential to be a game of the week contender. The Browns defense is scary this year with Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, and the newly acquired Olivier Vernon from the Giants. This young team wants to make a name for themselves and this game would be a prime opportunity to do so. The Browns have a chance to be a contender in the AFC at this point of the season. This is a game that could legitimize a franchise on the rise. The Pats will be coming off a loss to the Jets and will be out for blood. They will be looking to demolish whatever team steps in their way, and not to mention,Tom Brady after a primetime loss is frightening. Sorry Cleveland, Pats take this one.
Week 11: Philadelphia Eagles (Away, 4:25 start)
A rematch of Super Bowl 52 and a must win for the Pats. No more Nick Foles. It’s all on Wentz…that is if he can stay healthy for more than an episode of The Office. Philly added some weapons to their offense. Desean Jackson returns home to the Link and Jordan Howard will look to secure the RB1 slot. Michael Bennett makes his return after being traded to New England this offseason. The Pats are 6-8 all time against the Eagles. Facing them on their home turf is no easy task. This will be a close game. My initial reaction tells me Pats steal one, but that can easily be reversed.
Week 14: Kansas City Chiefs (Home 4:25 start)
Chiefs vs. Patriots Episode three: Revenge of the Mahomes. After being an offsides call away from a Super Bowl appearance, the Chiefs return to Foxboro on a mission. Pat Mahomes will probably be throwing passes with his eyes closed by this point of the season. The Chiefs finally added a weapon to their secondary in the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu. But, they lost star linebacker Justin Houston. Once again, this will be a battle of the offenses. Brady’s offense will be superior in this shootout.
Week 16 & 17: Bills anWay Too Early Patriots 2019 Schedule PreviewWay Too Early Patriots 2019 Schedule Previewd Dolphins (Both Home)
I need to get this off my chest. These two weeks might be the most stressful regular season games of the season every year. It is a coin flip to see which Patriots team we are going to see. Are we going to see the blood thirsty Tom Brady looking to snatch his 16th division title in 19 seasons and eventual home field advantage throughout the playoffs? Or are we going to see a Patriots team that runs the ball every down with James White and Rex Burkhead the entirety of these games. I hate watching these games every season. I pray to God himself. Please Bill, do not use these games as a resting period. That is what Wild Card weekend is for.
I sit and eagerly wait for the season to start. We have a few more stops on the road to the NFL season. Next stop, OTAs and Training camp. I’ll see you there.