What's Randy Moss doing? Is he saluting? Nope, he's shading his eyes to help him peer off into the horizon. Here's a look forward into the Patriots' season.
Once Herm Edwards was asked how many games his team would win. He got mad and answered with a question of his own: why would any coach go into a season admitting that he thought his squad would lose any? (The Jets didn’t do so hot that year.)
We feel the same way as Herm—and feel that he is best suited in a suit for ESPN or warming up for Tony Robbins at a self-help seminar—but we figured that we would rank the games hardest-to-easiest. So consider this a degree of difficulty scale en route to 19-0. Graded from roll-over-and-die to cakewalk:
1st. Week 15 Sun, Dec 20 @ Buffalo
By now Terrell Owens has named Ryan Fitzpatrick the starting quarterback, made Dick Jauron do some coaching (this is a bad thing) and bludgeoned four cheerleaders to death.
2nd. Week 11 Sun, Nov 22 vs. NY Jets
After 3,342,781 “Dirty Sanchez” jokes—including it once turning up as a headline in the New York Post—the poster boy goes all Chuck Knoblauch.
3rd. Week 2 Sun, Sep 20 @ NY Jets
The element of surprise! makes this one tougher than the game later in the year. Should be a good press conference, hopefully some sportswriter will bring Rex Ryan a crow to eat.
4th. Week 16 Sun, Dec 27 vs. Jacksonville
Tory Holt misses Marc Bulger. Maurice Jones-Drew misses Fred Taylor. Jack Del Rio’s "keep chopping wood" mantra turns six seasons old–when's the tree going to fall?
5th. Week 7 Sun, Oct 25 @ Wembley vs. Tampa Bay
Lord Byron Leftwich will have a difficult time playing on kidney pie. Barring even a resurrection of General Cornwallis the Patriots will not get beat by the red coats.
6th. Week 14 Sun, Dec 13 vs. Carolina
“So what do you call this act?” “The Panthers.” This team is a joke.
7th. Week 9 Sun, Nov 8 vs. Miami
The 2008 Dolphins are like the guy who buys his girlfriend diamond earrings on their first Valentine’s Day together, if he can’t best it next year he ain’t getting none from her. Can they up the ante on The Wildcat? This time around do they have a Tiffany’s necklace in their blue box, I mean, bag?
8th. Week 13 Sun, Dec 6 @ Miami
“OK he took me out to dinner and gave me a crappy bracelet. Maybe when I go to his house later he is going to surprise me?” Nope.
9th. Week 8 BYE
There are shiny marble floors to slip on and stone hot tub steps to stub your toe on at the Patriots’ homes that are more dangerous than the above teams.
10th.Week 1 Mon, Sep 14 Buffalo
Home opener where most of the pressure is on the other team’s star? Awesome. I just don’t trust Monday nights that much, I distrust them just a little more than marble tiling.
11th. Week 17 Sun, Jan 3 @ Houston
The Texans might be a great team…next year. The pieces are there but still not too much of a threat.
12th. Week 3 Sun, Sep 27 Atlanta
Matty Ice may be the most symmetrical QB but he’s no Tom Brady.
13th. Week 5 Sun, Oct 11 @ Denver
I’m not sure they won’t be as bad as most think. How about we totally freak McDaniels out and hand-off on every down in the first half, deal?
14th. Week 6 Sun, Oct 18 Tennessee
Played the Steelers pretty tight. But then again we are built differently than the, ugh, defending champs.
15th. Week 4 Sun, Oct 4 Baltimore
I like the core of this squad but I think this early in the season they miss Rex Ryan handling the D.
16th. Week 10 Sun, Nov 15 @ Indianapolis
New coach but has Peyton even noticed? Look for the Colts to pipe in crowd noise but phone in the running game.
17th. Week 12 Mon, Nov 30 @ New Orleans
This will be the highest scoring game in the history of football. Look for Drew Brees and Brady to combine for 1,000 passing. There isn’t even going to be a game clock; whichever quarterback’s arm falls off first loses the game.