But then you get to Week 13. That’s when the Patriots season is likely to go off the rails. In the final few weeks of the season, New England faces the Bills two times along with matchups against the Arizona Cardinals, Las Vegas Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals.
That’s not the slate of games that you want to face as you push for the playoffs. Yikes.
Let’s go through the entire season to break down how the Patriots will fare in every game to determine their final record.
WEEK 1: @ the Miami Dolphins
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At least this game isn’t at the end of the season, right? New England has historically struggled in Miami during the end of the season. Perhaps it’s the heat. Perhaps it has become a superstitious mental hurdle.
Either way, it won’t be a factor in 2022. The Patriots get the Dolphins early in the season. Because Miami has a new head coach in Mike McDaniel, who is trying to get his new talent (like Tyreek Hill) to coalesce in his system, the Patriots can nab a season-opening victory.
Patriots win, and start 1-0.
WEEK 2: at the Pittsburgh Steelers
Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Whether Kenny Pickett or Mitchell Trubisky is starting at QB, the Patriots won’t be intimidated. This game should be a relatively easy win — even with Pittsburgh boasting a really impressive group of skill players and an improved offensive line. Still, against those QBs, the Patriots take care of business.
Patriots win, and advance to 2-0.
WEEK 3: vs. the Baltimore Ravens
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
The Ravens are going to be an improved team in 2022 — it felt like they had a streak of tough luck on the field, particularly with injuries. Baltimore isn’t stocked with talent to support quarterback Lamar Jackson, however. The majority of their best players are on defense. So this one might be a slugfest. Ultimately, I think the Ravens eke out a win.
The Patriots lose and drop to 2-1.
WEEK 4: @ the Green Bay Packers
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Sorry, New England, I’m betting Rodgers wins that one every time.
Patriots lose and fall to 2-2.
WEEK 5: vs. the Detroit Lions
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The Lions are building something truly special, with such an impressive unit of young players. But I don’t think they’re ready to win big games in 2022. Give them a year to marinate. Jones and the Patriots coast to victory, with Bill Belichick’s defense getting the better of Jared Goff — as usual.
Patriots win and jump to 3-2.
WEEK 6: at the Cleveland Browns
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Is Deshaun Watson playing? That’s the question. The NFL could hand down a suspension for their investigation into the allegations of sexual assault and harassment. Watson dodged any convictions in a court of law. But perhaps the NFL will rule differently than the courts.
At this point, Watson isn’t slated to serve a suspension. Until that changes, the Browns are probably going to win this game.
Patriots take a defeat and regress to 3-3.
WEEK 7: vs. the Chicago Bears
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This team is a boneyard of castoff veterans — with a few dewy-eyed youngsters. And there’s Justin Fields. That won’t cut it against what is likely to be a tough, physical Patriots team.
New England wins and jumps to 4-3.
WEEK 8: at the New York Jets
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The Jets have put second-year quarterback Zach Wilson in a spot where he could to take a massive leap forward. But I’ll believe it when I see it. Wilson’s rookie season was so bad that he’s probably not taking a big leap forward, even with Elijah Moore, Corey Davis and Garrett Wilson.
The Patriots log a blowout and advance to 5-3.
WEEK 9: vs. the Indianapolis Colts
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Matt Ryan may be past his prime, but he’s about to get an outrageously strong supporting cast. And this defense still kicks butt.
New England loses and drop to 5-4.
WEEK 11: vs. the New York Jets
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Another game against the Jets? Another win, especially because the Patriots are at home.
New England jumps to 6-4.
WEEK 12: at the Minnesota Vikings
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The Patriots are travelling on a short week to Minnesota to play what is likely to be a middling Vikings team. It’s a tough one, but I’m going to give the Patriots the benefit of the doubt. Kirk Cousins Jr. (aka Mac Jones) takes down Kirk Cousins.
By the way, this Thanksgiving game kicks off a four-game stint of primetime night games.
The Patriots win and move on to 7-4.
WEEK 13: vs. the Buffalo Bills
AP Photo/Winslow Townson
So you’re probably feeling excited and optimistic about the Patriots. They’re off to a good start in my hypothetical projection! But it’s about to get ugly, folks — really ugly.
New England managed to take down Buffalo at Gillette Stadium last year — but it required an absolutely insane weather system. Barring the return of 70 mile per hour winds, the Patriots aren’t beating Josh Allen in 2022.
The Patriots suffer their first defeat to the Bills and fall to 7-5.
WEEK 14: at the Arizona Cardinals
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are jockey for power this offseason over an impending mega-contract. But that drama won’t impact Arizona’s on-field performance. This offense is going to be very hard to stop, especially with DeAndre Hopkins back from suspension at this point in the season.
New England loses. They’re 7-6.
WEEK 15: at the Las Vegas Raiders
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Belichick’s assistants have a way of taking him down. And Josh McDaniels is no exception. He did it when he was the coach in Denver. I think he’ll do it again in Vegas with his enormously talented team. Finally, the Patriots night game streak is over.
New England loses again and falls to 7-7.
WEEK 16: vs. the Cincinnati Bengals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Some teams struggle after losing in the Super Bowl. Quarterback Joe Burrow and the Bengals, however, don’t seem like that kind of team. They are ascending — and likely to be better in 2022 than they were in 2023.
This is an easy one to project.
Patriots lose and fall to 7-8. It’s their first time falling below .500.
WEEK 17: vs. the Miami Dolphins
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots would be angry. They’d be frustrated. And they’d take it out on a mediocre Miami team. New England isn’t that much better than the Dolphins, but they manage a sweep in 2022.
The Patriots (finally) win (again) and jump to 8-8.
WEEK 18: @ the Buffalo Bills
AP Photo/Joshua Bessex
Imagine the playoffs are on the line. The Patriots would be exactly .500 going into this game. If they win, they’re probably in the playoffs. If they lose, they’re probably out.
But it’s the Bills. And let’s be honest: Buffalo is a much better team. New England disappoints on the road.
The Patriots lose. They finish 8-9. (And they likely miss the playoffs in a crowded AFC.)
Jacob deGrom having follow-up MRI on Monday
The Mets said on May 10 that deGrom had started throwing, with GM Billy Eppler specifying that deGrom was “out to 60 feet at light intensity.”
If the news after deGrom’s follow-up MRI is good, the expectation is that he’ll be able to ramp up further.
The news that deGrom was throwing followed positive MRI results on his right shoulder that were revealed on April 25, and the Mets said on the 25th that deGrom would receive a follow-up MRI in approximately three weeks.
At the time, deGrom’s MRI and CT scans showed “considerable healing” of his stress reaction, which led to him being cleared to “begin loading and strengthening of the shoulder.”
DeGrom has been out since April 1 and was transferred to the 60-day IL on May 10 — the same day Eppler said he had started throwing. The 60-day move had no bearing on deGrom’s timeline since he was never returning before the second week of June anyway.
On March 31, with spring training nearing a close, deGrom reported shoulder tightness. He was placed on the IL the next day, after an initial MRI revealed the injury.
“Most scapula stress fractures that are caught early heal relatively reliably if the player strictly adheres to the rest and rehab protocol,” Deepak Chona, MD, a Stanford-trained orthopedic sports surgeon and founder of SportsMedAnalytics who does not personally treat deGrom, told SNY in April when discussing deGrom’s injury. “Any time there is an extended period off followed by a ramp back up, there is an accompanying risk of overdoing it and having a setback. However, as long as deGrom progresses slowly, you should expect a full recovery of his prior pitching performance with respect to both velocity and control.
“Furthermore, once he’s back, I wouldn’t expect this to act up again midseason. DeGrom at age 33 is not exactly young for an MLB pitcher, but he’s shown the ability to bounce back before. We have no reason to expect this to be much different.”
At the moment, the Mets’ rotation consists of Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker. Tylor Megill, who is on the IL with biceps inflammation, could return as soon as his 15-day stint is up on May 27.
Golf legend Tom Watson engaged to marry former CBS Sports executive LeslieAnne Wade
Golf legend Tom Watson is engaged to marry a longtime CBS Sports executive. The eight-time major champion became formally engaged to LeslieAnne Wade on May 7 while on a visit to the University of Notre Dame, where Ms. Wade was attending a reunion with her college roommates.
The couple plans to marry on July 9 in New Jersey before traveling to the Open Championship in St. Andrews. Ms. Wade confirmed the engagement and wedding date to Golfweek but declined further comment. The pair have known each other for 15 years.
Watson, 72, is a Hall of Famer and 39-time winner on the PGA Tour. His eight major titles include five Open victories, two Masters and a U.S. Open. His late wife, Hilary, died after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer in 2019.
Ms. Wade has been a widely respected fixture in the golf world for decades. She served as a Senior Vice President of Communications at CBS Sports and currently works with the Endeavor agency and for White Tee Partners, a women-owned marketing agency she co-founded. Her first marriage ended in divorce some years ago.
Watson retired from competitive golf in 2019 after an almost 50-year career during which he won 70 titles and twice captained the United States in the Ryder Cup.
Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Five players who can help you with stolen bases
Does your fantasy baseball team need speed? Here are some players to add who should help in stolen bases moving forward.
Eli White, OF, Texas Rangers (2%)
White hit leadoff over the final two games of the weekend series and is up to seven steals over just 38 at bats this season. White is a 28-year-old without much long-term upside but hit well in Triple-A last season, and his current .237 batting average hides a .370 OBP and a 129 wRC+. Moreover, White’s strong defense should lead to a continued everyday role, and Texas is giving the green light, as the Rangers have the third-most SBs this year. Only seven players have more steals than White this season, and all of them have 100+ ABs (White has 38).
Jorge Mateo, 2B/SS/OF, Baltimore Orioles (39%)
Mateo is tied for the MLB lead with 10 steals, so he shouldn’t still be available in so many Yahoo leagues. The new left field dimensions have transformed Camden Yards from arguably the best park in baseball for power into arguably the worst park in baseball for homers, but Mateo possesses “80” speed and should continue to run wild on the base paths. With Adalberto Mondesi out for the season, Mateo has a real chance to lead baseball in steals.
Vidal Bruján, 2B/OF, Tampa Bay Rays (6%)
Bruján has struggled badly over a limited MLB sample, but he should get an opportunity now with Manuel Margot and Brandon Lowe on the IL. Bruján swiped 44 bags (with 12 homers) over just 103 games at Triple-A last season, and he had attempted a whopping 11 stolen bases over just 16 games there this year. Moreover, Tampa Bay is leading MLB by a wide margin in SB attempts, as they are the only team in baseball attempting more than one per game. In other words, Bruján’s SB upside is massive, which would be extra helpful in such a scarce category given how many other later speed options like Jonathan Villar, Akil Baddoo, Garrett Hampson and Victor Robles (among others) have been busts.
Nick Senzel, 2B/OF, Cincinnati Reds (4%)
Senzel is expected to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday and should be back in Cincinnati soon. He’s been a major disappointment with the Reds (and is without a steal this season), but this is still a former No. 2 pick entering his prime with a strong enough minor league resume that THE BAT X projects a .272 BA (109 wRC+) with nine homers and 11 stolen bases over 360 ABs rest of season. Senzel is 2B/OF eligible, swiped 14 bases over just 375 ABs as a rookie (and his Sprint Speed is in the 83rd percentile) and gets to play in the second-best hitter’s park in baseball, so he’s well worth stashing in fantasy leagues.
Andrew Velazquez, SS, Los Angeles Angels (1%)
Velazquez is quietly up to six steals on the year, and his elite defense at shortstop should help keep his bat in LA’s lineup. He swiped 29 bags over just 264 at bats in Triple-A last season, and the Angels are among the league leaders in SBs this season. Velazquez is more of a deep league option, but he’s a middle infielder getting regular playing time who’s running. And his .190 batting average comes with an average exit velocity that’s actually in the 72nd percentile. Velazquez is another option for those desperate for speed.
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