Statistically speaking, the New England Patriots have a fairly easy schedule ahead of them. Their opponents won 48.4 percent of their games last season, tied for 22nd in the NFL according to John Breech of CBS Sports. But dig into the schedule a bit more closely, and circumstances look even more favorable for New England. They play only one team coming off of a bye week in 2018, and it is the lowly New York Jets. They play only five 2017 playoff teams, and besides the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, all of them will be coming off of games against teams who have made the playoffs in the past two years. Those opponents will be tired out, but at New England’s most vulnerable point (the four-week stretch before their Week 11 bye), they face two of the easiest teams on their schedule in the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills. That late bye will also help keep them fresh for the playoffs.
That isn’t to say that the Patriots are going to win all of their games. They are going to lose a few, and circumstance will play a part in those losses. It’s just a matter of figuring out which opponents are best-suited to challenging New England at the specific point in the schedule in which they will meet. Luckily, the Patriots opponent the season in particularly fortunate fashion by playing against an injury-riddled opponent.