The New England Patriots’ secondary could have some fun in 2016.
The Patriots play six games against teams with uncertain quarterback situations, including two against the New York Jets, who currently have Geno Smith and Bryce Petty behind center.
Check out what to expect from each of the Patriots’ games next season.
Week 1 at Arizona Cardinals
Former Patriots first-round pick and pass rusher Chandler Jones will have a chance to get revenge against his old team. The Patriots will revisit University of Phoenix Stadium, where they won Super Bowl XLIX.
Week 2 vs. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are entering their first season with new head coach Adam Gase. It would be difficult to argue their roster didn’t get weaker, however. They lost running back Lamar Miller, wide receiver Rishard Matthews, defensive end Derrick Shelby and pass rusher Olivier Vernon in free agency and cut cornerback Brent Grimes. They added linebacker Kiko Alonso and cornerback Byron Maxwell via trade and signed pass rusher Mario Williams.
Week 3 vs. Houston Texans
The Texans could be slightly more formidable with Brock Osweiler under center. Osweiler beat the Patriots as a member of the Denver Broncos in 2015.
Week 4 vs. Buffalo Bills
The Bills are going into their second season of the Rex Ryan and Tyrod Taylor era. Their offseason wasn’t as eventful as last, though they did cut pass rusher Mario Williams and lost linebacker Nigel Bradham and wide receiver Chris Hogan via free agency. The most important moves they made were bringing back free-agent offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and Richie Incognito.
Week 5 at Cleveland Browns
The Browns could be a disaster in 2016 after losing wide receiver Travis Benjamin, safety Tashaun Gipson, center Alex Mack and offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz. They’ll likely have Robert Griffin III or a rookie starting at quarterback next season.
Week 6 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Quarterback Andy Dalton will need to quickly build chemistry with new receiver Brandon LaFell after losing Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu via free agency.
Week 7 at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers always are tough, though they’ll be without suspended wide receiver Martavis Bryant. Tight end Ladarius Green adds another weapon to Ben Roethlisberger’s arsenal, however.
Week 8 at Buffalo Bills
The Patriots play the Bills again just four weeks later and before their bye week.
Week 9 Bye
A Week 9 bye is ideal after they had their bye in Week 4 last year.
Week 10 vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Super Bowl XLIX rematch is one of the most exciting games on the Patriots’ schedule. The Seahawks could have some issues after losing starting offensive linemen Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy. Running back Marshawn Lynch also retired.
Week 11 at San Francisco 49ers
Bill Belichick has a chance to face off against his friend Chip Kelly in 2016. The 49ers will start either Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert at quarterback.
Week 12 at New York Jets
The Jets had another eventful offseason but don’t currently have a legitimate starting quarterback with just Smith and Petty on the roster. They brought in running backs Matt Forte and Khiry Robinson, offensive tackle Ryan Clady and defensive tackle Steve McLendon. They lost defensive tackle Damon Harrison and running back Chris Ivory in free agency, and starting left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson retired.
Week 13 vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have a new home and likely will have a new starting quarterback in Week 1 after trading up to the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Patriots free-agent addition Chris Long will have a chance to tee off against the team that cut him.
Week 14 vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens got better on paper by adding safety Eric Weddle, wide receiver Mike Wallace and tight end Benjamin Watson, though they lost offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele, safety Will Hill and defensive lineman Chris Canty. Wallace’s speed could be dangerous with quarterback Joe Flacco’s deep passing skills.
Week 15 at Denver Broncos
The Super Bowl 50 champs lost both their quarterbacks this offseason — Peyton Manning to retirement and Brock Osweiler to the Texans. Their top quarterback currently on the roster is Mark Sanchez. They could sign a free agent like Ryan Fitzpatrick or draft their future signal-caller.
Week 16 vs. New York Jets
The Patriots play the Jets again just four weeks after their Week 12 matchup.
Week 17 at Miami Dolphins
The Patriots get to retreat to South Florida and escape freezing Massachusetts late in the season.
Thumbnail photo via Jim O’Connor/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP