Patriots

Patriots

The New England Patriots will be the defending Super Bowl champions entering the 2019 NFL season, and the strength (or lack thereof) of their schedule should be among the reasons for optimism surrounding the team's chances of successfully defending its title.

The Patriots are tied with four other teams for the second-easiest 2019 schedule, based on opponents' combined win percentage from the 2018 campaign. New England's 2019 opponents had a 2018 win percentage of just .473, according to John Breech of CBS Sports. Only the Washington Redskins have an easier 2019 schedule.

Here's a look at New England's 2019 schedule. Keep in mind dates and times for all games have not yet been finalized. 

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The Patriots, as winners of the AFC East, will again play a first-place schedule. However, they also will play the AFC North and the NFC East. The NFC East is a competitive division but it's not home to any juggernauts. Same for the AFC North, which could have four solid teams in 2019 thanks to the Cleveland Browns' resurgence, but there's no elite team that will scare the rest of the conference.

 

And, of course, the Patriots will play six games against the lackluster AFC East. New England went 5-1 against its division rivals last season, and that only loss was the disaster against the Dolphins in Miami.

The Patriots went 11-5 in the 2018 regular season before a dominant playoff run that ended with a Super Bowl LIII victory over the Los Angeles Rams. It was the Pats' worst regular-season record since 2009. The odds of the Patriots failing to win 12-plus games next season should be pretty low, especially when you factor in their easy schedule and the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs matchup will again be at Gillette Stadium.

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