By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Patriots’ 2019 schedule isn’t officially set yet, but their opponents are. And now we know who the Pats will play at Gillette Stadium and where they’ll play on the road.
New England released its official list of home and away opponents for the 2019 season on Monday. In addition to facing teams from the AFC North (Steelers, Ravens, Browns, Bengals) and NFC East (Eagles, Giants, Cowboys, Redskins) in addition to the AFC East, they will face the AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs and AFC South-winning Houston Texans.
Here’s how the non-AFC East home and road games shake out…
HOME: Browns, Chiefs, Cowboys, Giants, Steelers
AWAY: Bengals, Eagles, Ravens, Redskins, Texans
The tougher road games are fairly obvious, particularly if their road woes (and the other teams’ success) from 2018 carry over to next season. Road tilts against the Ravens and Texans, as well as a Super Bowl LII rematch with the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, stand out among the Patriots’ biggest tests of the season.
Meanwhile, they get positive breaks with the Chiefs and Steelers having to come to Foxboro. It’ll be tough sledding for Baker Mayfield to pull off an upset at Gillette with the Browns in his sophomore season. It’s possible that the Giants have a rookie quarterback starting instead of Eli Manning, who is well past his prime anyway. And Dak Prescott would be hard-pressed to lead the Cowboys to a road victory in what could end up being a primetime game in Foxborough.
As noted by MassLive’s Andrew Callahan, the Patriots will be playing at least six games against first-year head coaches. The Dolphins, Jets, Bengals, and Browns will all have new faces at the helm in 2019. There’s the possibility, however, that Josh McDaniels and/or Brian Flores are among those names.
On paper, the Patriots’ schedule doesn’t look all that daunting. The Chiefs and Texans appear to be among the toughest opponents, and the Eagles, Steelers, and Ravens could give them a tough time. There’s also likely to be some turnover in New England, too. So while it’s hard to predict these things so far out, the 2019 Patriots schedule doesn’t look as treacherous as 2018.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.