New England? Patriots Ready for First Season Without Tom Brady in Nearly Two Decades
What will the 2020 New England Patriots record look like at the end of December?
If you can predict that, please let me know what the Mega Millions numbers will be as well.
I am joking of course.
Everyone knows that, despite the loss of the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, Bill Belichick is still the greatest head coach to have ever done it, and he will want to show the league, and the doubters, that he can rebuild this team. So while there is some pessimism surrounding this team heading into 2020, there might be much optimism by the end of it.
Or, it could all fall apart quickly.
The good news for the Patriots’ fans is that the AFC East is still the AFC East. The New York Jets are not very good; they traded away their best player in Jamal Adams, and come into the season with an over/under of 6.5 wins, with the under slightly favored (-115 to -105), according to Borgata sportsbook. Miami is slightly worse in the predictions, at six, with the over very much favored (-150 to +125). The Buffalo Bills went 10-6 last year, but are only 8.5 wins on the over/under.
Oddly, though, even with the Patriots 8.5-9.5 over/under total, depending on the sportsbook you use, they are slight underdogs to the Bills to win the division. Most sites have the Bills as very slight favorites to overthrow New England in the AFC East.
Whether it is Jarrett Stidham or Cam Newton under center, Belichick should be able to get the best out of his new quarterback. But the problem could come from the players around whoever is under center.
New England has been hit hard by players opting out of the season due to COVID-19. So far, eight players have decided to sit out this year, including six on offense: RB Brandon Bolden, OL Marcus Cannon, TE Matt LaCosse, WR Marqise Lee, TE Matt LaCosse, OL Najee Toran and FB Danny Vitale. On defense, it is LB Dont’a Hightower and S Patrick Chung.
That is a lot of talent to replace.
Could this be the year that New England finally falls back to earth, after six titles in 19 seasons (including three of the last six), and another three AFC championships?
One thing is for sure: if the Patriots can find a way to win the division this season, this might be the best coaching job of Belichick’s career.
Prediction for the 2020 New England Patriots
This team has plenty of games on its schedule that are winnable, and once again, the greatest coach to have ever put on the hoodie.
Belichick is going to be tested with the defensive unit that struggled last season, and will greatly miss Hightower and Chung.
But things could go wrong in Buffalo as well. I think taking the over 8.5 wins, if you can get it, is the best wager on New England this season.
As far as the AFC East division title, while the Bills may be favored, and might be the slightly better team (especially with all the opt-outs in New England), I would find it very tough to bet against Belichick.