Every season is Super Bowl or bust for the New England Patriots. The 2019 season will be no exception. The NFL schedule was released for all 32 teams on Wednesday night.
When teams get the chance to play New England, it becomes their own personal Super Bowl. The Patriots know better than anyone else that there’s a target on your back when you win the Super Bowl.
Here are five must-watch Patriots games in 2019.
5. Week 7 at the New York Jets
In Week 7, the Patriots will travel to New York to take on their division rival. They play twice every year, but this time things should be more interesting.
In recent seasons, New England has tortured the Jets, winning 14 out of their last 16 meetings dating back to 2011. New York will want to take down the Patriots this upcoming season.
The Jets have a new look in 2019, and it isn’t just because of their new uniforms. Over the offseason, they acquired Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, Jamison Crowder, Kelechi Osemele, and Ty Montgomery.
Sam Darnold will also want to improve on his rookie season from 2018. What better way to do that than by showing he can go toe-to-toe with Tom Brady?
4. Week 9 at the Baltimore Ravens
This season, the Patriots’ bye week will come in Week 10. A week before that, New England will take a business trip to Baltimore.
These teams have some history despite not playing each other very often. In 2013, Joe Flacco led the Ravens into Foxborough to take on the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
The winner would go to the Super Bowl, while the other would be sent home packing. Flacco played a fantastic game to propel the Ravens over New England en route to a Lombardi Trophy.
Tom Brady doesn’t let memories like that fade away. Although Flacco is no longer a Raven, Lamar Jackson will want to create his own memories of triumph against Brady.
3. Week 8 against the Cleveland Browns
In between their road games against the Jets and the Ravens, the Patriots will face the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium. You typically wouldn’t think that the Browns would be part of a must-watch game, but times are changing.
The Browns are led by Baker Mayfield, who had a phenomenal rookie season in 2018. Mayfield immediately changed the culture in Cleveland, and he’ll have even more help in 2019.
In a surprising move, the Browns were able to land Odell Beckham Jr. via trade this offseason. For everyone keeping track, the Browns now have Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, David Njoku, Kareem Hunt, Antonio Callaway, and Beckham as offensive weapons.
2. Week 1 Against the Pittsburgh Steelers
The NFL typically has the Super Bowl champions kick the season off. That won’t happen this year. The Patriots will open their season on Sunday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
These franchises have battled each other for years, with the Patriots having the ultimate say. The all-time series between the two teams is tied at 16-16, but since 2005, the Patriots have won nine out of their 12 meetings.
Last season, we saw the Steelers get over the hump to take down New England. Yet, it came in a season when they failed to reach the playoffs.
We get another duel between Ben Roethlisberger and Brady, which makes this game an exciting one to watch.
1. Week 14 Against the Kansas City Chiefs
This choice should come as no surprise. We are treated to a rematch of the 2018 AFC Championship Game late in the season, and in the same place as the conference title game. The Patriots won in January in a thrilling overtime game against Kansas City.
The Chiefs’ offense is fun to watch, led by Patrick Mahomes, while the Patriots continue to find ways to win. Mahomes (0-2 versus New England) will want to get his first win against Brady and Company in 2019.
What makes this game even more enticing is the fact we are witnessing the greatest modern football dynasty against the most electric young quarterback in the NFL.