This season is a great time for the New England Patriots to bounce back from their first losing season in 20 years. The club wasn’t expected to be the same following the departure of Tom Brady, but 7-9 and missing the postseason was a bit much. I guess we can say the Cam Newton experiment is a work in progress, and hopefully for the Pats the work is better than last year. Newton struggled in the passing game and the offense averaged just over 20 points to cash the under on their win total of nine.
The Pats got some pieces back and added others to at least be optimistic entering the campaign. But they still have questions about their quarterback situation and an improved AFC East should be challenging. They should be better a year removed from Brady, but are they good enough to win double figures and cash the over on their projected win total of 9.5?
New England Patriots 2021 Regular Season Win Total Odds
Patriots Over 9.5 Wins -114
Patriots Under 9.5 Wins -102
(Odds provided by BookMaker.eu as of 8:40 am ET)
I guess we’ll see if Bill Belichick truly is a genius this year. It had been a long time since the Pats had a losing record; it was the coach’s first season with the club way back in 2000 when Brady was a pimply-faced rookie. They won five games that year, turned the team over to Brady the following season, and the rest, as they say, is history. Brady isn’t coming back but the hope is that with a full season in the system Newton can be better. And he also has weapons to improve a sluggish passing game.
The Pats finished 30th in passing yards and their QBs combined to throw a league-low 12 touchdowns and 14 picks. We’ll see a lot of two tight end sets with Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry now on board. Both can catch and their blocking will help a decent ground game. The problem last season was that the Pats lacked the ability to come from behind because they struggled throwing the ball. Newcomers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne give the receiving corps immediate credibility. And if Newton can’t get the job done, expect to see rookie Mac Jones take over.
Investing heavily on the front seven of the defense, the Pats would like to see better results against the run. They were routinely gouged by opposing backs and ranked 26th in rushing yards allowed. A rare free-agent signing spree brought in several linemen and the second level is bolstered by the addition of Kyle Van Noy and the return of Dont’a Hightower. Matt Judon and Raekwon McMillan look like perfect fits for the Pats’ defense. All in all, the group will be closer to its 2019 numbers than last year’s stats, which is a good thing for Pats’ backers.
2021 New England Patriots Schedule
Week 1: vs. Miami Dolphins, Sunday, September 12, 4:25 p.m. ET
Week 2: at New York Jets, Sunday, September 19, 1 p.m. ET
Week 3: vs. New Orleans Saints, Sunday, September 26, 1 p.m. ET
Week 4: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, October 3, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Week 5: at Houston Texans, Sunday, October 10, 1 p.m. ET
Week 6: vs. Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, October 17, 4:25 p.m. ET
Week 7: vs. New York Jets, Sunday, October 24, 1 p.m. ET
Week 8: at Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, October 31, 4:05 p.m. ET
Week 9: at Carolina Panthers, Sunday, November 7, 1 p.m. ET
Week 10: vs. Cleveland Browns, Sunday, November 14, 1 p.m. ET
Week 11: at Atlanta Falcons, Thursday, November 18, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFLN)
Week 12: vs. Tennessee Titans, Sunday, November 28, 1 p.m. ET
Week 13: at Buffalo Bills, Monday, December 6, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Week 14: BYE
Week 15: at Indianapolis Colts, Sat./Sun., December 18/19, TBA
Week 16: vs. Buffalo Bills, Sunday, December 26, 1 p.m. ET
Week 17: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, January 2, 1 p.m. ET
Week 18: at Miami Dolphins, Sunday, January 9, 1 p.m. ET
Their dominance within the division ended last season when the Pats split their six games. They had a chance to beat Buffalo until a late turnover cost them in a three-point game in Week 8. Still, it’s the AFC East and while the Bills are the favorite, there isn’t a lot separating the clubs. And getting a third-place schedule also helps. The Pats have the 19th toughest schedule with matchups against the two South divisions and it would behoove them to have a better start than what they’ve done in the past.
They open against the Dolphins, who they beat in last year’s opener, and have the Jets and Saints before a Week 4 matchup with Brady and the Bucs in front of a national audience. The most difficult stretch comes before their Week 14 bye with games against Tennessee and Buffalo.
New England Patriots 2021 Regular Season Win Prediction
Our pick: New England Patriots OVER 9.5 Wins
The Pats accomplished plenty in the offseason with their free agents bolstering what was the weakest part of the team. I also expect Newton to have a much better campaign with a year in the system and the ailments that bothered him in Carolina behind him. The schedule is favorable putting the Pats back in the mix in the AFC, and they will reach double figures in wins cashing the over in this futures bet.
View today’s NFL odds.