Adam Schein believes the New England Patriots will be bad this season.
Like, really bad.
Schein, a contributing columnist for NFL.com, made several bold predictions for the 2020 campaign in a piece published Thursday. One such prediction centered around the Pats, whom he believes are destined for a top-five pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
“By Labor Day, I might even push this to top three,” Schein wrote. “Or on the clock.”
Schein sees the Patriots going 5-11 “if everything breaks right.”
Obviously, he’s not alone in his skepticism of the Patriots, who figure to roll with unproven, second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham in wake of Tom Brady’s departure. But perhaps he’s underestimating the power of Bill Belichick and the annual ineptitude of other teams in the AFC East.
Here’s what Schein wrote in explaining his prediction:
Tom Brady is in Tampa. Jarrett Stidham is Jarrett Stidham. Yes, Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in the history of sports, but the roster just isn’t that good. The problems that ultimately led to New England’s undoing down the stretch last season still exist — in fact, they’re probably even more problematic. And the Patriots no longer have the G.O.A.T. to serve as the ultimate deodorant for what stinks. The receiving corps remains underwhelming. I like the long-term upside of the two tight ends New England drafted in the third round — Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene — but the roster lacks a proven NFL commodity at the position. The offensive line is average at best. Same with the backfield. Defensively, the Pats went from historic during the team’s 8-0 start last season to leaky in the second half of the year. And the unit lost a number of key players, including Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins.
But Schein thinks the Patriots sit alongside the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants as the three worst teams in the NFL, which seems like a stretch even if New England doesn’t live up to its usual high standards.
Well, if the Patriots stink that bad, it likely means Stidham had a shaky season and New England at least can focus on finding a franchise quarterback with its high selection in next year’s draft.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images