After QB Tom Brady’s 20 years in the organization, it’s officially the start of a new era for the New England Patriots. Throughout those 20 years, Brady led the Patriots to nine Super Bowls, winning six of them and leading one of the greatest dynasties in pro sports history.
With their longtime quarterback gone, 2020 will be a test for head coach Bill Belichick and new addition Cam Newton to keep New England’s run of success going. Will, they lay claim to another AFC East title? Or will the Pats finally lose their hold on the division?
New England Patriots 2020 Schedule
|Week 1||Sept. 13||vs Dolphins, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 2||Sept. 20||at Seahawks (SNF), 8:20 p.m., NBC|
|Week 3||Sept. 27||vs Raiders, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 4||Oct. 4||at Chiefs, 4:25 p.m., CBS|
|Week 5||Oct. 11||vs Broncos, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 6||BYE WEEK||BYE WEEK|
|Week 7||Oct. 25||vs 49ers, 4:25 p.m., CBS|
|Week 8||Nov. 1||at Bills, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 9||Nov. 9||at Jets (MNF), 8:15 p.m., ESPN|
|Week 10||Nov. 15||vs Ravens (SNF), 8:20 p.m., NBC|
|Week 11||Nov. 22||at Texans, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 12||Nov. 29||vs Cardinals, 1:00 p.m., FOX|
|Week 13||Dec. 6||at Chargers, 4:25 p.m., CBS|
|Week 14||Dec. 10||at Rams (TNF), 8:20 p.m., FOX/NFL Network|
|Week 15||Dec. 20||at Dolphins, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
|Week 16||Dec. 28||vs Bills (MNF), 8:15 p.m., ESPN|
|Week 17||Jan. 3||vs Jets, 1:00 p.m., CBS|
The Patriots will go up against their foes from the AFC East two times each, plus have games against the AFC West and NFC West. They’ll also play two other first-place teams, the Ravens and Texans, in what is ranked as the toughest strength-of-schedule in all of football.
New England Patriots News & Picks
Last Year’s History
New England entered last season as the defending Super Bowl champions once again, their sixth time doing so. But there was no hangover for the Patriots. The champs started the year 8-0, led by a historically-dominant defense that was forcing turnovers and finding the end zone on a near-weekly basis. During that stretch, they allowed no more than 14 points in a game and had an average margin of victory of 24 points.
Their undefeated season ended in Baltimore in Week 9, just before their bye week. The second-half schedule was much tougher, and they fell to the Texans and Chiefs in back-to-back weeks. They won their 11th straight AFC East title after beating the Bills in Week 16 but failed to secure a first-round bye after a shocking home loss to the Dolphins to end the year. New England went .500 after their perfect start to finish 12-4. They lost to the Titans in the Wild Card round, their first home playoff loss since 2012, and the first time they didn’t play in the Divisional round since 2009.
As mentioned earlier, New England’s defense was a truly dominant unit. They were the league-leaders in both yards allowed (275.9) and points allowed (14.1), while also averaging more than 1.5 interceptions per game. Among the major defensive stats, the only ones that the Patriots weren’t in the top-five for is rushing yards allowed and sacks, where they were still sixth and seventh.
Offensively, the defense helped New England average 26.3 points per game, the seventh-most in the NFL. However, they were just 15th with 354 yards per game and 18th with 106.4 rushing yards.
Cam Newton is coming off an injury-shortened season. Last year he suffered a Lisfranc fracture and was only able to play in two games. It’ll be interesting to see if Newton is able to bounce back or if he’ll need some time to find his groove.
In signing Newton, the Pats became the first team to replace a former MVP with a former MVP. And while Newton hasn’t put up MVP numbers in a couple of years, he’ll have much more support around him in New England. The Pats have a tremendous defense that will allow their offense to play dangerously. With Newton under center, the Pats will be afforded a new level of versatility in their play calling.
Julian Edelman has never earned Pro Bowl honors in his career. However, there’s no question that he’s one of the most dangerous slot receivers in the league. He’s a three-time Super Bowl champion and even received Super Bowl MVP honors in Super Bowl LIII. The veteran receiver has been a staple of New England’s offense for a long time. It’ll be interesting what Edelman will be able to achieve alongside Newton.
Gilmore received high praise from Madden as they gave him a 99 overall rating in the ‘20 version of the game. Madden isn’t the only one dishing out high praise for Gilmore. Last season, he was elected to 1st team All-Pro. The cornerback received the honors by posting six interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, as well as 44 solo tackles. Keep an eye out for him once the NFL sportsbook action kicks off.
For the most part, the Patriots kept it pretty low-key when it came to adding players. The only multi-year contracts they dished out were for Buccaneers DT Beau Allen and Chargers S Adrian Phillips, each of which were for two years. The rest of their signings were one-year depth players, including Jets LB Brandin Copeland, Jaguars WR Marqise Lee, and Colts QB Brian Hoyer.
In the draft, New England traded down and out of the first round. In the second round, they selected Lenoir-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger, then followed it up with Michigan DE Josh Uche. With their three third-round picks, the Patriots continued their run on defense with Alabama LB Anfernee Jennings, before swooping up a pair of tight ends in UCLA’s Devin Asiasi and Virginia Tech’s Dalton Keene. Among their five remaining selections, they took Marshall K Justin Rohrwasser and Michigan OG Michael Onwenu.
Of course, the loss of Brady is something that has been talked about all offseason. But TE Rob Gronkowski is also joining Brady in Tampa Bay after New England traded his rights a little over a year after his retirement. The Patriots were hit hard on defense, losing a pair of high-quality starters when LB Jamie Collins signed with the Lions and LB Kyle Van Noy agreed to a deal with the Dolphins. Other notable departures include WR Phillip Dorsett, C Ted Karras, DT Danny Shelton and S Duron Harmon.
New England’s stiffest competition in the AFC East will come from the Bills, who just had their first 10-win season in 20 years. Not only do the Bills have a great defense, led by CB Tre’Davious White and LB Tremaine Edmunds, but they also have an improved offense, thanks to the addition of WR Stefon Diggs. But, the Patriots did beat Buffalo twice last season and have won the last seven matchups overall.
After a seven-win season, the Jets seem like a team on the rise. They actually had a winning record with Sam Darnold at QB, and have overhauled the offensive line in front of him. The defense no longer includes star S Jamal Adams, but still has talented pass-rusher Quinnen Williams. This is another team that the Pats have dominated in recent years, winning the last eight matchups, with the last regulation loss coming in the divisional round in January 2011.
Then there’s the new-look Dolphins, who, despite last year’s rebuilding efforts, upset the Patriots at home for their only division loss of the year. Miami spent a lot of money this offseason, adding Van Noy along with CB Byron Jones and DE Shaq Lawson. They also had many draft picks, none more talked-about than Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa. They’re the hardest to predict, especially when you consider that New England has split the season series with them in six of the last seven years.
New England Patriots Offense
Unsurprisingly, the Pats were dominant on offense in 2019. They were the 7th best scoring offense in the NFL, they were the 9th best offense and 18th best running unit. However, none of this really matters as New England will now turn to Cam Newton.
Newton inked a one-year deal this past offseason, which goes to show you that the Pats don’t have full confidence in the former MVP just yet. Newton had a monstrous season a couple of years back but has yet to hit those heights since. Now that he’s in New England, we’ll get to find out what Newton truly has to offer.
New England Patriots Defense
The Pats were one of the most dominant defenses in the league last year. Bill Belichick’s unit was #1 in points allowed, #1 against the pass, and #8 against the run. Those are some pretty incredible numbers. While they may struggle to hit that #1 mark again in 2020, we can still expect them to be a top-10 if not a top-5 defense.
What is the New England Pats' all-time record?
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How many Super Bowls have the New England Patriots won?
6 (2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017, 2019)
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