Premature Predictions For New England: Part One

It's perhaps too early to do this, but on the other hand, others will have done this kind of thing a long time before me. So in that case, I've decided to give it my best shot, and see how the Patriots will do in 2012. I'll split it up between the first 8 games before the bye, and produce the next 8 at a later date. Let's get going.

Week 1 - @ Tennessee:  This is a tougher opening than it seems. The Titans are so often a midde of the road team, but they'l believe strongly that they can challenge Houston for the AFC South crown. However, I think the Pats will come through this one, mainly because it will probably be Matt Hasselbeck at QB. It'll be a squeaker, but our high power offense should win the day.

Prediction: NE 27 - 17 TEN

Week 2 - vs Arizona: Again, another team with a QB battle. Once again, it is too early in the year to go with the underdog, so, unless he's hurt, Kevin Kolb will be starting. A key to this one will be containing Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd at WR, and it'll be a stern test for our secondary. However, with a less than perfect QB, I fancy our DB's to make the plays required. Also, Arizona has a D-line which can generate the pressure to interrupt Tom Brady, but again we have the weapons to overcome this Arizona team.

Prediction: Ari 20 - 31 NE

Week 3 - @ Baltimore: The Patriots first appearance on Sunday Night Football will be a tough one. As I've explained in a previous post, this will probably be our hardest game of the year. And I think it will be our first loss. I think Baltimore will click this year, even without Terrell Suggs. They came pretty close in the AFC Championship game, but fell short thanks to a great play by Sterling Moore (it wasn't a dropped pass!!!). This time, they will have their vengeance.

Prediction: NE 17 - 24 BAL

Week 4 - @ Buffalo: Another tough one for the Pats here. An improved defense will do the world of good for the Bills, with additions of Mario Williams and Stephon Gilmore the highlights. Unlike last time in Buffalo, there won't be over 60 points in this game. Brady won't be as error prone, and our defense will be sharper than last year. Everyone seems to have the Bills as a wildcard in the AFC, but their  offense will need to improve before they become a regular contender.

Prediction: NE 24 - 14 BUF

Week 5 - vs Denver: Another one I picked out as a tough game. Mainly because of Peyton Manning. Whenever he comes into Massachusetts, it's a huge game. And he's got a solid defensive unit in Denver led by Champ Bailey and Von Miller. And he's a QB who can make an average receiver good and a good receiver great. However, last year we put up big numbers and points on the Broncos last year, and I see no reason why this will change. It will be competitive matchup for sure, but I think the Patriots will get the win here.

Prediction: DEN 24 - 38 NE

Week 6 - @ Seattle: A tricky encounter. Seattle have a promising defense this year, potentially top 5 in the league, a top running back like Marshawn Lynch and the "12th Man" crowd in Seattle, this won't be easy for Tom Brady and co. And I predict a second loss of the year for the Patriots. This should be the only really shocking loss this year.

Prediction: NE 20 - 24 SEA

Week 7 - vs Tim Tebow: Or as they're otherwise known, the New York Jets. There will be so much publicity going into this one (do you expect anything else from Rex Ryan?). However, the over hype of this one will disguise a very weak Jets team that the Patriots will win comfortably, especially at Gillette.

Prediction: NYJ 17 - 34 NE

Week 8 - @ St. Louis (at Wembley Stadium, London): This is the encouter I'll be most looking forward to this season, as I will be attending my first ever Patriots game. But that's beside the point. This is a Rams team under renovation this season, with the only constant being running back Stephen Jackson. This should be, barring a disaster, a comfortable win for New England, to enter the bye week in a solid position of 6-2.

Prediction: NE 38 - 13 STL

How do you think we'll do in our first eight games? And how do you feel about the next 8? Drop me a line on here or on twitter @brendan_annely and let me know!