dangolka (CBS) — It wasn’t too tough to make a Patriots prediction over the previous 20 years, particularly within the common season. Choosing the Patriots to win each weekend actually wasn’t a huge stretch.
Now right here we’re in 2020, and nobody is aware of something about something anymore. Certain, the Patriots nonetheless have the most effective coach of all time in Invoice Belichick, however after that, there’s a complete lotta uncertainty relating to the New England soccer workforce.
Gone is Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., and in his place can be Cam Newton, a reasonably large change at an important place on the sphere. Additionally gone are a handful of key defensive gamers, whether or not they departed by way of free company or opted out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And that pandemic factor provides a complete new wrinkle to simply about all the pieces relating to the 2020 NFL season.
However right here we’re, forcing our fantastic sports activities workforce to make predictions in an unpredictable season. Right here is how the WBZ-TV and CBS dangolka sports activities workforce sees the new-look New England Patriots faring of their season opener towards the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV
The Patriots are 6.5-point favorites over Miami on Sunday. The Pats ought to win this recreation, nevertheless it’s going to be attention-grabbing to see how a lot the offense will change now that Cam Newton is their quarterback.
The Patriots’ strongest unit is their defensive backs. These guys are hungry and gifted and cannot solely make performs however rating factors.
Patriots 24, Dolphins 17
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
Invoice Belichick ready all via coaching camp for this recreation, treating it like a university soccer opener. Everyone knows that Tom Brady is gone and received’t be quarterbacking in New England. Nonetheless, in 2016 the Pats had Jimmy G. begin the season as Brady was serving his Deflategate suspension. Garoppolo was 24/33 for 264 yards with a TD and zero INT in a 23-21 win at Arizona.
Cam Newton ought to be capable of put up related numbers whereas the protection ought to do sufficient to include Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins.
Patriots 27, Dolphins 17
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
First recreation the season is all the time onerous to foretell and this 12 months it’s even tougher. No preseason video games. No joint practices. Plus, no followers to offer that residence subject benefit.
So it’s mainly roll out and play and make changes alongside the way in which. That’s why I just like the Pats on this one.
Cam Newton desires to get off to a very good begin and Belichick desires to start out the Tom Brady-less period appropriately. Add to that some revenge from final 12 months’s Week 17 recreation and I’ve the Pats successful. Cam throws for 300 yards and J.C. Jackson has a pick-six.
Patriots 34, Dolphins 17
Michael Hurley, CBS dangolka
Pardon my French, however how the HECK is anybody imagined to make a prediction this 12 months? We all the time know little or no however now we in some way know even much less.
That being mentioned … Cam Newton will throw for 279 yards with one landing and one other speeding landing. Ryan Fitzpatrick will throw for 321 yards and two touchdowns but additionally an interception to J.C. Jackson. Sony Michel could have a productive day, with 91 yards on 21 carries. Damiere Byrd will come via with essentially the most explosive play of the day, a 67-yard reception up the fitting sideline within the third quarter. An errant kickoff by Jake Bailey will make issues dicey late, however a fourth-down cease will safe a victory for the house workforce.
Patriots 23, Dolphins 17
Matthew Geagan, CBS dangolka
I’ve a greater shot at predicting what my 4-year-old will throw a tantrum over than the primary Patriots recreation of the season, however right here we go.
I’m cautiously optimistic that the Patriots protection will nonetheless be a robust unit, principally as a result of Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson and Devin McCourty are nonetheless main the cost. Ryan Fitzpatrick likes to sling the pigskin, in order that they’ll get loads of probabilities to select him off in Week 1. I believe we’ll see a few Patriots interceptions on this one.
The offense is the nice unknown although. Cam Newton is dynamic when he’s wholesome, an absolute monster of a quarterback, however he’s additionally liable to make errors. A number of errors. After 20 years of near-perfect quarterback play, that can be a little bit of an adjustment for New England followers. Add in the truth that Julian Edelman is the one true risk at receiver, and it’s going to take a while for this offense to mesh.
However I like James White to have a stable recreation, shortly changing into one in every of Newton’s favourite targets, and the Patriots protection will do sufficient for a Week 1 victory.
Patriots 17, Dolphins 16
You possibly can watch the Patriots kick off their 2020 season Sunday on WBZ-TV — the house of the New England Patriots! Protection begins Friday evening at 7 p.m. with Patriots All Entry and kicks off Sunday at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. The Patriots and the Dolphins sq. off at 1 p.m., and stick with WBZ-TV after the sport for Cam Newton’s first postgame press convention on Patriots fifth Quarter!