But remember: Tampa Bay hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007. And for that to change in 2020, three things need to happen:
A running game would help since they haven’t had one in several years.
The secondary needs to be much better, though it showed some improvement after getting rid of Vernon Hargreaves, who is currently a member of the Houston Texans (he was released by the team earlier this year, but resigned last month).
The offensive line needs to improve dramatically.
Tom Brady alone cannot lead the Bucs to the postseason, though many bandwagon fans feel differently. Everyone remembers all of Jameis Winston’s interceptions last year. What the stats don’t show, is how often he was running for his life. Brady’s going to be doing a lot of scrambling if the pass protection remains poor.
The anticipation for this season – hopefully with fans in the stadium – is through the roof. Let’s get it on.
Miami and New England last met in the opening week of the 2014 season when the Dolphins beat the Patriots, 33-20. New England would rebound the following week before eventually winning their fourth Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
Following their home-opener against the Dolphins, New England will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, September 20 for an 8:20 p.m. kick-off before closing out the first month of the 2020 season at home one week later against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Patriots will play three games in October, including a 4:25 p.m. contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. New England will then compete in five games in November, including three road games against the Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, and New York Jets before playing four times in December.
New England’s final two contests will be home games against the Bills and Jets. Their final regular-season game against New York will be played on Sunday, January 3 with kick-off scheduled for 1 p.m.
Prior to their initial contest of the 2020 season, the Patriots will play back-to-back preseason games against the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers before hitting the road to compete against the Philadelphia Eagles (week three) and New York Giants (week four).
The 2020 schedule will certainly be a challenging one for New England, which is scheduled to compete against six teams that competed in last season’s postseason, as well as the two teams that squared-off in Super Bowl LIV.
New England Patriots 2020 Schedule
Week One (Sept. 13, 2020): New England vs. Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m.
Week Two (Sept. 20, 2020): New England at Seattle Seahawks, 8:20 p.m.
Week Three (Sept. 27, 2020): New England vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 1 p.m.
Week Four (Oct. 4, 2020): New England at Kansas City Cheifs, 4:25 p.m.
Week Five (Oct. 11, 2020): New England vs. Denver Broncos, 1 p.m.
Week Six: Bye
Week Seven (Oct. 25, 2020): New England vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m.
Week Eight (Nov. 1, 2020): New England at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
Week Nine (Nov. 9, 2020): New England at New York Jets, 8:15 p.m.
Week 10 (Nov. 15, 2020): New England vs. Baltimore Ravens, 8:20 p.m.
Week 11 (Nov. 22, 2020): New England at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Week 12 (Nov. 29, 2020): New England vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1 p.m.
Week 13 (Dec. 6, 2020): New England at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m.
Week 14 (Dec. 10, 2020): New England at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m.
Week 15 (Dec. 20, 2020): New England at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m.
Week 16 (Dec. 28, 2020): New England vs. Buffalo Bills, 8:15 p.m.
Week 17 (Jan. 3, 2021): New England vs. New York Jets, 1 p.m.
A slew of New England college football players signed unrestricted free agent contracts with various NFL teams. (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualunt.com)
With the 2020 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, it is time to turn our attention to the various New England college football players that have recently signed with teams as undrafted free agents.
Here is a current list of student-athletes that will be competing for roster spots with various teams for the upcoming season. We will be updating this list as more signings are announced.
Jake Burt (TE): The Lynnfield, Massachusetts native, who was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List as a graduate student with the Eagles this past fall, signed with the New England Patriots on Sunday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jackson Dennis (OL): The Odessa, Florida native signed a free-agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals following the conclusion of the NFL Draft. Dennis started 12 games last fall for the Crusaders, who advanced to the NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Prince Smith Jr. (CB): The Pennsylvania native is headed back home to compete for a spot with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles announced Smith Jr. was one of 12 players that signed unrestricted free agent contracts last night after the NFL Draft concluded.
University of Rhode Island
Kyle Murphy (OL): The Attleboro, Massachusetts native announced on Twitter that he is “officially a (New York) Giant.”
Welcome to a brand new week, everyone – well, technically the second day of the week as Sunday marked the beginning of the second to last week of April, which is crazy, right?
From a quick glance outside our window, it appears to be a cloudy and overcast day here in Boston. Did we just see the sun?
Either way, stay calm and positive, and make sure to smile – we got this!
On This Date in History: April 20th, 2020
1986: Michael Jordan recorded an NBA Playoff record of 63 points in a double-overtime loss to the Boston Celtics.
Jordan connected on 22 of 41 shots while sinking 19 of 21 freebies. He also recorded five rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks.
Boston would clinch the best-of-five game series two days later in Chicago by beating the Bulls, 122-104.
1988: The Baltimore Orioles lost their 14th straight contest, falling to the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 8-6.
The Orioles, which finished the 1988 season with a 54-107 record, would only win one game in the month of April when they beat the Chicago White Sox, 9-0, on the second to the last day of the month. The win against the White Sox snapped a 21-game losing streak.
1996: With the first pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected wide receiver, Keyshawn Johnson. The Jacksonville Jaguars selected linebacker Kevin Hardy second while the Arizona Cardinals picked defensive end Simeon Rice.
The New England Patriots had the seventh pick and selected wide receiver, Terry Glenn.
1997: The Chicago Cubs win their first game of the 1997 season against the New York Mets, snapping a 14-game losing streak to begin their new campaign. Four Chicago batters recorded a run in the 4-3 win over the Mets, including Sammy Sosa, who finished with three hits and two strikeouts.
2002: The Houston Texans selected quarterback David Carr as their first-ever pick in franchise history on the initial day of the 2002 NFLDraft. Defensive end Julius Peppers was selected second by the Carolina Panthers followed by quarterback Joey Harrington third by the Detroit Lions.
The New England Patriots selected tight end, Daniel Graham with the 21st pick.
And the answer for who the Patriots would play in week one was a familiar foe, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yep, the Steel Curtain will invade Gillette Stadium on the first Sunday evening of the 2019 season, and you know it will be a great game with hopefully the Patriots prevailing.
With a new season just months away, but a schedule now available to analyze (and think about), why not share some thoughts on how the hometown team will do in each contest, beginning with its week one match-up with the Steelers.
Noonan’s 2019 Game-By-Game Predictions
Week One: Pittsburg Steelers at Patriots (Sept. 8th, 2019 | 8:30 p.m.): There will be a lot of storylines heading into this one, but the most important one will be how will the Patriots do with Rob Gronkowski? I think they will do just fine. There will be some growing pains, of course, but in the end, the Patriots should find a way to sneak past the Steelers without two of their key pieces from the past few seasons. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Steelers 21
Week Two: Patriots at Miami Dolphins (Sept. 15th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): Coach Bill Belichick takes on former defensive coordinator Brian Flores. This will be yet another one of those master versus apprentice battles, but in the end, I think the Dolphins win this one, but the Pats will even the score later in the season. PREDICTION: Dolphins 24, Patriots 17
Week Three: New York Jets at Patriots (Sept. 22, 2019 | 1 p.m.):Adam Gase seems to think the Jets are better suited than his former team to beat the Patriots. He even inspired them to bring back a bad (and remixed) version of their Neil O’Donnell uniforms, too. The Patriots will be eager to bounce back from their week two loss to the Dolphins and earn their first divisional win. PREDICTION: Patriots 37, Jets 15
Week Four: Patriots at Buffalo Bills (Sept. 29th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): After cruising past the Jets, the Patriots should have no problem ending the month of September with a second-straight AFC East victory. PREDICTION: Patriots 24, Bills 10
Week Five: Patriots at Washington Redskins (Oct. 6th, 2019 |1p.m.): The last time the Patriots and Redskins squared-off in our nation’s capital, I believe there was some sort of shouting match between Tom Brady and Bill O’Brien. I don’t see Brady yelling at O’Brien this year – he coaches the Houston Texans, by the way – but I do see our hometown hero yelling at his teammates during the pregame to fire them up for another win. PREDICTION: Patriots 31, Redskins 21
Week Six: New York Giants at Patriots (Oct. 10th, 2019 | 8:20 p.m.): It seems like ages ago when these two teams met in the Super Bowl, but this game won’t be like the ‘big game.’ Nope, the Giants are rebuilding – should be competitive, though – but in the end, this has the makings for Sony Michel two or three-touchdown game. PREDICTION: Patriots 35, Giants 17
Week Seven: Patriots at New York Jets (Oct. 21, 2019 | 8:15 p.m.): As usual, the Jets usually play well at home, but can they rebound from a week three setback to the Patriots? Probably not, right? PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Jets 17
Week Eight: Cleveland Browns at Patriots (Oct. 27th, 2019 | 4:25 p.m.): Welcome to Foxboro, Baker Mayfield. The Browns should be in the mix for an AFC Championship this season – yes, I know what I just wrote (and said in my head!) – but somehow I see the Patriots pulling this out with a late touchdown. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Browns 24
Week Nine: Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (Nov. 3rd, 2019 | 8:20 p.m.): Coach Belichick versus quarterback Lamar Jackson should be an enticing game of chess. The Ravens always play the Patriots tough, and I think this is a tough spot for New England to secure a win before the bye week. PREDICTION: Ravens 21, Patriots 17
Week Ten: Bye Week (Nov. 10th, 2019)
Week 11: Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles (Nov. 17th, 2019 | 4:25 p.m.): Coming off their bye week (and a disappointing setback to the Ravens), the Patriots will return to their early season form and cause havoc to quarterback Carson Wentz. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Eagles 20
Week 12: Dallas Cowboys at Patriots (Nov. 24th, 2019 | 4:24 p.m.): Quarterback Dak Prescott does quite well in chilly temperatures – cold weather doesn’t seem to bother the young signal-caller. This should be a competitive game like the 2011 meeting, but in the end, I somehow see Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott winning the game on a one-yard score. PREDICTION: Cowboys 21, Patriots 18
Week 13: Patriots at Houston Texans (Dec. 1st, 2019 | 8:20 p.m.): After a tough loss to the Cowboys – I know, I showed some bias to my second favorite football team – the Patriots will find a way back into the win column, but it won’t be an easy win. PREDICTION: Patriots 29, Texans 23
Week 14: Kansas City Chiefs at Patriots (Dec. 8th, 2019 | 4:25 p.m.): This has the making for a very exciting contest – perhaps the winner could take over the top spot in the AFC for the upcoming playoffs. The Chiefs almost beat the Patriots last season but should be a tougher opponent this year, thanks to new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. PREDICTION: Chiefs 31, Patriots 27
Week 15: Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals (Dec. 15th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): Welcome to the beginning of a three-game winning streak. Sure, the Bengals will have a new coach this year, but they won’t be able to stop the Patriots at this point of the season. PREDICTION: Patriots 31, Bengals 20
Week 16: Buffalo Bills at Patriots (Dec. 21st or 22nd | TBD): The pre-Christmas game at Foxboro usually results in a win for the hometown team. Who knows what shape the Bills will be in at this point of the season, but the Patriots will once again dominate their divisional foe. PREDICTION: Patriots 28, Bills 14
Week 17: Miami Dolphins at Patriots (Dec. 29th, 2019 | 1 p.m.): One week after handing Buffalo an early holiday present, the Patriots will once again dish out an early Happy New Year gift by beating the Dolphins before the postseason. PREDICTION: Patriots 27, Dolphins 10
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