BOSTON (CBS) — The 2017 NFL season is here.
After raising their Super Bowl LI banner at Gillette Stadium on Thursday night, the New England Patriots will kick off the new season against the Kansas City Chiefs. As it is every year with the Patriots, the expectation is they’ll be adding another banner to their collection come this time next season. There’s even been a lot of chatter of perfection, with the Patriots completing an undefeated campaign 10 years after falling just short of that amazing feat.
The CBS Boston sports team already gave their predictions for Thursday night’s tilt, but they made some predictions for New England’s season record while also having some fun with the upcoming season. See how our experts think the Patriots will do in 2017, with everyone expecting a February trip to Minnesota:
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV
The Patriots may not have the perfect season, so let’s say 13-3. AND, if everyone stays healthy then even three losses could be high.
Fun Prediction: Both Rob Ninkovich and Vince Wilfork have retired. Could it be as the season goes along that Bill Belichick reaches out to one of them and they come out of retirement and play again?
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
I’m going to get up on my soapbox for a second, Pats fans, and my message for 2017 is simple: Take the 2017 season as if nothing had happened before for the Patriots. Take each game and dissect it, analyze it, predict it, and then watch it as if New England is dying to win its first-ever Super Bowl. I feel as if all we do around here is look ahead. Can the Pats go 19-0? Should Jimmy play several games this year? Stop!
Bill Belichick has an easy time wiping the slate clean. I urge you fans to do the same. It will make it a lot more fun. Trust me.
With that said, I think the Pats will go 14-2 or 13-3 and then we’ll revisit come playoff time when we see where they are health-wise.
Fun Prediction: Jimmy G. will throw for a TD, run for a TD, catch a TD pass, and add a Doug Flutie dropkick… all while never starting a game in 2017.
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
I expect a great season for the Pats, going 13-3 in the regular season before meeting the Dallas Cowboys in Minnesota for Superbowl LII.
Both teams will fly there in their own team-themed planes. The halftime show will be Bruno Mars and will be all about Prince.
The Pats will win 35-31 and Brady will call it a career while on the podium, ending his career the same way it started: Winning Super Bowls in three of four seasons.
Fun Prediction: In a surprise move, Jimmy Garoppolo grabs the mic and also retires after Super Bowl LII, proclaiming that he’s going back to school to be a hair stylist.
Adam Kaufman, 98.5 The Sports Hub/WBZ NewsRadio 1030
I was one of those people who had 19-0 on the table before Julian Edelman went down for the season with a torn ACL. Now, while the slot receiver’s loss is more inconvenient than irreplaceable, it feels to me like the Patriots won’t push quite as hard for immortality. Injuries happen, and there will be others, meaning New England doesn’t have quite the same level of depth already without a guy who was targeted 158 times last year (194, including the playoffs) and produced 1,106 yards (1,448). That said, this is still as deep a Pats team as we’ve seen on offense in at least a decade – maybe ever – with a defense that could rank among the NFL’s best. They’ll go 13-3 in the regular season, and will be in Minnesota in February.
Fun Prediction: The Patriots lost a 1,000-yard receiver and a running back who rushed for 18 touchdowns – and they’re still going to have a better offense than the one that averaged 36.8 points and scored 589 points in 2007. Even at 40, Tom Brady will win NFL MVP for the third time, Rob Gronkowski will earn Comeback Player of the Year honors, and Bill Belichick will trade for a defensive end or linebacker who makes a game-defining sack in the Pats’ sixth Super Bowl win come February.
Mike “Sarge” Riley, 98.5 The Sports Hub/WBZ NewsRadio 1030
As much as any Pats fan would like to see 19-0, that’s just not going to happen. Coming out of their mid-season bye, the Pats will play just one home game in a six week period. That stretch starts November 12 in Denver, then it’s off to Mexico City against the Raiders. Sprinkle in the Dolphins twice in a 15-day span – where I think they split with the Fins — and there will be a loss or two in that stretch.
Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots
There is also a Week 5 matchup at Tampa Bay on a short week for a Thursday night game (the first time Pats are a Thursday road team — not including Thanksgiving) before the Jets on the road. Either one could be a trap game ahead of a Super Bowl rematch with the Falcons in Week 7.
The Pats will take the AFC East (again), get back to the AFC Championship for an unprecedented seventh straight year and punch their ticket to Minneapolis in February.
Tune in to Thursday’s season opener on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Coverage begins at 5:30pm with Patriots Preview with kickoff set for 8:30pm. Tune in to three hours of postgame coverage following the game on 98.5FM, and catch Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38 to see Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s press conferences live!