The pre-season is behind us and the New England Patriots are on to the home opener on Sunday 9/9 where they’ll host the Houston Texans. The Patriots finished up the pre-season with a 3-1 mark although a pre-season record doesn’t tell you much about how a team will perform on the big stage of the regular season. As always since Brady and Belichick have been with the Patriots, expectations are high for New England this year. Although the AFC East remains a weak division outside of the Patriots, a return trip to the Super Bowl is always a challenge. Make no mistake about it as Brady’s career winds down (we think), its Super Bowl or bust for this New England team.
The 2017 Patriots season was a success by most standards as the Patriots went 13-3 and earned a trip to the Super Bowl vs the Philadelphia Eagles. However, coming off a Super Bowl Championship in the 2016 season its hard to see 2017 as anything other than a disappointment (not fair, we know). Despite the loss, the Patriots became the first team to appear in 10 Super Bowls. We’re impressed for sure. On their way to the Super Bowl, New England beat the Titans in the Divisional Playoffs and the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game (24-20, closer than most thought it would be). New England’s loss to the Eagles in the Super Bowl wasn’t without controversy as Belichick decided to bench starter and fan favorite, Malcolm Butler. The move was highly criticized by fans and media alike and it was never fully explained by Belichick or the coaching staff.
The Super Bowl loss in January exposed some potential bad feelings in New England with friction between Brady and Belichick reported. Both men are fairly tight lipped about this sort of thing so no way to know for sure how everyone is feeling in the locker room. Despite the potential friction, the Patriots are on most people’s list to get back to the Super Bowl this season. There’s no guarantee they’ll get there but they certainly do love a challenge. To do it they’ll need to overcome an unusually weak wide receiver corps and of course they’ll need Tom Brady to continue to defy time as he starts this season a month after his 41st birthday.
The Patriots will start answering lingering questions about their squad when they take the field on Sunday 9/9 to host the Houston Texans. See the full home schedule below. Patriots tickets are available for all games at Ace Ticket.
9/9 Patriots vs Texans
9/30 Patriots vs Dolphins
10/4 Patriots vs Colts
10/14 Patriots vs Chiefs
11/4 Patriots vs Packers
12/2 Patriots vs Vikings
12/23 Patriots vs Bills
12/30 Patriots vs Jets