For all the snarky comments that were made in the leadup to the schedule release, I do enjoy seeing what this year’s campaign looks like. Here are my random thoughts..
Great bye week in Week 10. Believe that’s as late as it can possibly be and that’s always how you want it.
After the opener in Miami, the Pats are out of division for the next four games until they travel to the Bills. That’s a good stretch out of the division to work the early-season kinks out.
And the back-to-back Week 2 and 3 games against the Vikings and Raiders should help the Pats avoid their usual stinker loss in the early part of the season. Assuming they take care of business in Miami.
Good stretch around the bye of tough games - Bears/Broncos/BYE/Colts/Lions/Packers/Chargers is no cake walk.
Pats get their short week between @ Bills then Thursday night hosting the Jets. Good to face a team they know on the short week to help with preparation.
They then have a 10 break before hosting the Bears and Broncos, then they get their bye. I like how that sets up.
But coming out of the bye it’s a tough stretch - @Colts, vs Lions, @ Packers, @ Chargers, then closing the season out with three-straight divisional games.
Kind of odd playing at the Jets in Week 16. Been a while since we’ve gone down there so late.
Overall, the schedule feels easier in the start and then gets progressively tougher. The mid-October to mid-December stretch is tough, but with the three-straight division games to close the season out, the Pats should hold their own fate in their hands as far as the division goes.
Five total national games and the Broncos game is not one. That’s surprising.
This is definitely a challenging schedule and if the Pats and it almost assures the Pats won’t have the division sewn up early like they often have in recent years.
Frenz and I will discuss all this and more draft stuff tomorrow morning at 11am EST on an all new podcast.
Here’s a great resource keeping track of all the Pats’ contacts this offseason. The number of wide receivers and quarterbacks might be a little surprising, but just because they’re on this list doesn’t mean the Pats are definitely interested in drafting them.
Usually it means they need some clarification on the prospect, and even if you don’t draft them you might have to play against them, so every little bit of info helps.
Friday’s B/R piece is up, taking a look at my picks for the best and worst draftees of the last decade. Gronk and Hernando are off it because I feel like both lived up to the reasons they dropped. Good players, but issues have kept them off the field and from reaching their full potential.
2014 PatsPropaganda Patriots Top 50 NFL Draft Board
For the past three years, I’ve put together a Patriots-only big board, ranking 50 prospects that I like most for the Pats, roughly in the order that I like them. Needs are taken into account and I try to spread them out across all levels to try and hit as many as possible. Think of this like a big lottery ticket.
My scores in past seasons: 2011 - four out of nine picks, 2012 - two of seven picks, and 2013 - two out of seven picks (plus Chris Jones though he wasn’t drafted by the Pats). Can I break .500 this year??
Input is welcome, but my only rule is to keep it to 50 guys, so for every guy I add, someone’s gotta come off. Many of you know these prospects far better than I do, so make your case in the comments for additions and subtractions.
PatsPropaganda is written and edited by Mike Dussault, a card-carrying Belichickian. He has a soft spot for hard core X's and O's, and believes in "throw to score, run to win", low pad level, and touchdown celebrations that last two weeks.
He is a Patriots Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report, and his work has been featured on FoxSports.com, Yahoo Sports, and SI.com. He also co-hosts the weekly PatsPropaganda & Frenz Podcast with Bleacher Report's AFC East Editor Erik Frenz.
PatsPropaganda was TruFan.com/CSNNE's 2011 winner for Best Patriots Blog.
He can be contacted at PatsPropaganda [at] gmail.com
This blog is in no way affiliated with the NFL nor the New England Patriots.