The regular season is right around the corner for the New England Patriots. A lot of people are speculating that the Patriots season will be easier than in year's past. But let's hold the horses for a bit and really take a look at this schedule. Keep in mind, the Patriots are playing the AFC North conference this season. Obviously, they play their conference a total of six games, and some miscellaneous games thrown in between. With all of that said, who will be the biggest tests for the Patriots in 2019? Who has the best chance to beat them? Let's take a look at the toughest games for the Patriots in the 2019 season.
The Browns are the new team on the block. They're the team that a lot of people are rooting for as the underdogs. With a lot of the moves they have made this off-season, this team is going to be fun to watch. It starts and ends with quarterback Baker Mayfield. He will now be the team's starter from day one, and Browns fans could not be happier with that. With a 63.8 completion percentage, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions; it's easy to see why everyone is fond of Baker. His weapons around him are no joke either. Having Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr., David Njoku, Kareem Hunt (Week nine), and others, that offense will be fun to watch. Their defense is very good too with guys like Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward in the mix. The Browns will certainly give the Patriots a good test come Week 8.
With all of the talk in the AFC North about the Browns, people have slept on the Baltimore Ravens. Lamar Jackson is similar to Baker Mayfield in the sense that he is going into his first year being a full-time starter. We've seen Jackson make plays with his legs. Now, we get to see if Jackson can improvise more in the pocket and make more throws in his second season. Mark Ingram is sure to bolster the Ravens running game. Willie Snead is an underrated receiver that nobody talks about much. Then of course, there's the Ravens defense that can shut down good offenses. Having Baltimore on the road right after having Cleveland at home will not be easy for the Patriots come Week 9.
The Patriots seem to have the Texans number. But, don't think that means that this game will be a landslide win. Playing on Sunday Night Football is tough enough. Now you're asking the Patriots to play in Houston against one of the best defenses in the NFL? Yikes! The Patriots can handle it, but it won't be easy. We know DeShaun Watson can put up points in a hurry. It also helps that he has one of the best wide receivers in the game in DeAndre Hopkins. Will Fuller is another good receiver to have for Watson as well. The Texans running game is a bit weak, but what they lack there they make up for with a great defense. As long as Jadeveon Clowney stays put, him and J.J. Watt are an offensive line's worst nightmare. With a solid gameplan in place, the Patriots should be okay. Then again, the Texans could surprise all of us!
Kansas City Chiefs
This is without a doubt going to be the hardest game on the Patriots schedule. In Week 14, the Patriots welcome in none other than Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs will be looking for revenge after a heartbreaking loss in Kansas City during the AFC Championship game last season. Mahomes is coming off an MVP season, with 50 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. Obviously for Mahomes, having Tyreek Hill not suspended is huge. The defense is going to be the big question this season. Keep in mind, the Chiefs gave up 43 at Gillette last season, and 37 in Kansas City. The Patriots know they can score points against this Chiefs defense. But the main question will be: will Patrick Mahomes get his first win against New England, in their house? This could be a nomination for the game of the year.
These games will not be easy for the Patriots in the slightest. These will be four of the biggest tests this season. Sure, you could also throw in the Eagles, maybe even the Cowboys too. But these four games should be the ones circled on Patriots fan's calendars. We're one week away from the Pittsburgh opening night game. Almost there folks!