The time has finally come! The wait is over! Rejoice one and all, if your critical heart will momentarily allow, for a new season of Patriots football is upon us! A season that follows one of the most unusual and unpredictable offseasons in memory, featuring controversial hirings and debatable departures aplenty. Soon we’ll learn if Bill Belichick’s unique coaching structure and roster moves pay off, leading to the next step in the growth of the team and QB Mac Jones. Or will the doubters and detractors have the last laugh as the Pats take a step back in the increasingly competitive AFC?
However it plays out, the time for talk is over! Well, almost, as there are still a few days left until kickoff from Miami Gardens, Sunday at 1 p.m. EST. Not to mention what should be a whale of a kickoff game, featuring a Super Bowl hopeful visiting the defending Super Bowl champions in prime time. Sure to be an epic clash to begin what should be an epic season. Seeing as we’re in the business of discussion, debate, analysis and prognostication, we thought it best to get our predictions out there before the campaign begins anew. This way WEEI listeners and readers alike can either keep receipts and hold people accountable for their freezing cold takes...or remember that their friends at the station tried to warn them of what lay ahead.
For what it’s worth, on a national level, NFL.com has put the Patriots expected win total at 8.6, which seems on par with national expectations. The Las Vegas over/under has been 8.5 wins for some time now. For those looking for a boost, the prognostication machine at 538 has given the Patriots a 9-8 record and a 44% chance to make the playoffs, providing some hope at the end of a long season. These predictions seem to be largely in lockstep with those of our air staff, producers, podcasters and writers. And now, on with our predictions, show by show, and what we hope is a very enjoyable Patriots and NFL season.
THE GREG HILL SHOW
Greg Hill: 10-7, and playoffs!
Coco: 10-7, playoff bound!
GRESH & KEEFE
Gresh: 10-7, with a trip to the Wild Card round!
John Andersen: 9-8
Billy Lanni: 10-7, back to the playoffs!
MERLONI, FAURIA & MEGO
Tyler Devitte: 7-10
Ryan Garvin: 6-11
MUT AT NIGHT
Ken Laird: 11-6, the highest win total at the station!
1ST & FOXBOROUGH
Khari Thompson: 9-8