Game-By-Game Prediction Of The New England Patriots' Record For 2018

The New England Patriots lost in the Super Bowl last year and the expectations are -  once again - championship or bust. After an unusually shaky offseason filled with questions about the futures of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, some are even wondering if New England's dynasty is over. Is it? Here's a game-by-game prediction of the Patriots' record this year:

Week 1: vs. Houston Texans
Prediction: WIN (1-0)

I think Houston will be a very good team this year...but we also know that the Patriots simply have their number, especially in New England.

Week 2: at Jacksonville Jaguars
Prediction: LOSS (1-1)

The Jaguars lost to the Patriots in the AFC championship game 24-20. Jacksonville was in control for most of that game and will look for revenge in 2018. The Jaguars defense is arguably the best in the NFL and, combined with their physical style of play with running back Leonard Fournette, this will be a tough game for New England.

Week 3: at Detroit Lions
Prediction: WIN (2-1)

New England should pick up their second win of the season against a vulnerable Lions team with plenty of question marks on defense. Expect Brady to have a big game in this one.

Week 4: vs. Miami Dolphins
Prediction: WIN (3-1)

The Dolphins are expected to take another step back in 2018 after they parted with many of their top players including Jarvis Landry and Ndamukong Suh. The Patriots should have no problem at home.

Week 5: vs. Indianapolis Colts
Prediction: WIN (4-1)

Indianapolis is still one of the worst teams in the league and, while they're improving, won't be able to compete with the Patriots until their defense gets better and Andrew Luck gets healthy.

Week 6: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Prediction: WIN (5-1)

Kansas City has won the AFC West two years in a row and is the favorites to win it again in 2018. Given the outcome of the 2017 season opener, the Patriots can't take the Chiefs lightly - but they won't win in Foxborough two years in a row.

Week 7: at Chicago Bears
Prediction: WIN (6-1)

A lot of people like the Bears to be a breakout team this year but they still have a less-than-stellar defense and are probably a year away from really competing. The Pats will win this game on the road behind another outstanding performance from Brady.

Week 8: at Buffalo Bills
Prediction: WIN (7-1)

The Bills don't have many offensive weapons and are rebuilding their defense. Tom Brady and New England's offense should have a field day against them. 

Week 9: vs. Green Bay Packers
Prediction: LOSS (7-2)

The only reason the Packers missed the playoffs this season was because of the injury to Aaron Rodgers, but he'll be back and playing at the elite level we've come to expect from him. He's good enough to win a game by himself.

Week 10: at Tennessee Titans
Prediction: WIN (8-2)

Tennessee is a really good team, but as we saw in the playoffs last year, they aren't close to being on New England's level. Plus, with Dion Lewis and Malcolm Butler now on the Titans, the Patriots will have some extra motivation to beat them.

Week 11: BYE

Week 12: at New York Jets
Prediction: WIN (9-2)

It appears that the Jets have their quarterback of the future in Sam Darnold but the rest of the team still needs to be upgraded. This will be another easy win for New England off the bye week.

Week 13: vs. Minnesota Vikings
Prediction: WIN (10-2)

It's no fluke that the Vikings were one of the best teams in the NFL last season. They have quality receivers, a good quarterback in Kirk Cousins, a dynamic rushing attack (remember, Dalvin Cook will be back and healthy) and an absolutely dominant defense. Still, it's a late afternoon game in New England - the Pats rarely lose those.

Week 14: at Miami Dolphins
Prediction: WIN (11-2)

See above: New England will be motivated with a chance to clinch a playoff spot likely on the line.

Week 15: at Pittsburgh Steelers
Prediction: LOSS (11-3)

The Steelers have been one of the best teams in the AFC for the past decade and a half and have plenty of star power - but star power the Patriots can match. This his will be another huge test for New England's defense and will likely be a very entertaining shootout again.

Week 16: vs. Buffalo Bills
Prediction: WIN (12-3)

The Patriots will likely be able to clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC in this game. They'll do so by at least two touchdowns.

Week 17: vs. New York Jets
Prediction: WIN (13-3)

Again, it's the Jets. New England will win even if they play their backups. 

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