BOSTON (CBS) — Football season is here, which means a full six months of predictions and prognostications about everything pigskin. And you know you can count on us for completely unbiased predictions regarding the New England Patriots.
Do those who fill this section have a tendency to pick the Patriots? One could say that. But one could also say the Patriots have a tendency to win most of their games. And those who chose to pick the Pats every weekend last season were correct 11 times. With pundits picking the Pats to win between 12-14 games, going with New England every weekend isn’t a bad strategy.
It all starts Sunday night, when the Pats kick their season off against the Steelers, a team they’ve owned at Gillette Stadium the last two decades. Here’s how the WBZ-TV and CBS Boston crew sees the game playing out:
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV
Let’s face it. The Patriots are loaded almost everywhere you look. Their defense could turn out to be the best in the league if everyone stays healthy. The players know they have to execute, but by bringing back Jamie Collins and adding Michael Bennett to the mix, opposing quarterbacks will be in for some long afternoons and evenings.
The offensive line may time time to jell, but they have the right coach for the job. Brady also has some serious weapons all over the field, and opposing defenses won’t be able to cover them all. With Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas, this team is rock solid, with the best offensive coordinator in the business in Josh McDaniels.
Brady is undefeated at home against Pittsburgh. That won’t end on Sunday night.
Patriots 24, Steelers 17
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
Tom Brady has great numbers against the Steelers (11-3 overall) and plays well against Pittsburgh here in New England (5-0, including a 4-0 mark in the regular season). At home, Brady has thrown for 18 touchdowns in those five wins with zero interceptions.
But, this game very well may come down to the Pats O-Line, minus David Andrews. In last year’s 17-10 loss in Pittsburgh, the Pats ran for only 96 yards while going just 3-10 on third down. They also got flagged for 14 penalties. The Pats should be better on each of those fronts, and Brady should be able to do enough to pull out a victory while the defense does its job.
Patriots 20, Steelers 17
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
So first game of the season and the Patriots go up against a familiar foe. The Pats and the Steelers are AFC bigwigs but this game could be one sided.
I’ll keep it short and sweet because the first game always brings the unknown. Expect the Pats defense to dominate in this game. It will be interesting to see where the Steelers go to when JuJu is covered.
Both teams will probably have slow starts but the energy in the building should push the Pats forward.
The Patriots raise the banner on Sunday and end it all with a victory.
Patriots 20, Steelers 10
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
The Steelers are Sisyphus. The Patriots with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are a giant boulder. Gillette Stadium is a massive hill. This is how the football gods ordered it, and this is how it must always be.
That’s a really obnoxious way of saying that the Steelers have never beaten Brady at Gillette, and they’re probably not going to start now.
Patriots 27, Steelers 16
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
Week 1 is tough. No one really knows what the heck is going to happen in any of the games. Anyone can be a winner on Week 1.
That is, unless you’re the Steelers playing at Gillette Stadium against Tom Brady. They don’t win those games, as others highlighted above. And in those games, Tom Brady completes over 70 percent of his passes.
Whom he completes those passes to will be interesting this time around. Rob Gronkowski had a knack for erupting against the Steelers (last season notwithstanding), but he’s now retired. Brady has a good receiving corps and an even better run game at his disposal, and he’s going to need them with some glaring question marks along the offensive line.
The Steelers may put it all together at some point this season, but it won’t be Sunday night in Foxboro. We’re about to get our first look at a New England defense that should be pretty special.
Patriots 27, Steelers 16
WBZ-TV gets you ready for the 2019 Patriots season opener on Sunday morning with Patriots GameDay at 11:30 a.m., and we’ll break down everything about their clash with the Steelers after the game on Patriots 5th Quarter!