Another NFL season is upon us, and football fans know what that means: the New England Patriots are the odds-on favorite to win the Super Bowl, which would be their record-setting seventh as a franchise. Belichick, Brady, Edelman & co. return to field what should be yet another dominant team that will cause opponents fits in 2019, but a new development has emerged in the offseason that should really scare opposing fan bases — their defense may be even more dominant than their excellent offense this season.

After finishing seventh in the league in points per game given up last season, they went out and traded for Pro Bowl defensive lineman Michael Bennett, re-signed former key defensive cog in linebacker Jamie Collins, and spent day two draft picks on stud defensive prospects like cornerback Joejuan Williams from Vanderbilt and defensive end Chase Winovich from Michigan.

All of these moves have helped improve an already-solid defense that when paired with Tom Brady’s offense made them a 7-1 favorite to win the Super Bowl at the onset of the season, according to Vegas odds. Among all of the various games that should excite NFL fans heading into the season, there are a few in particular that we at TickPick think will be the best, and we’ve listed them below.

New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens

One of the AFC’s longest-running rivalries is between the Patriots and Ravens. The Ravens and their head coach John Harbaugh have gained respect from the rest of the league in large part due to their ability to play the Pats tougher than maybe any other franchise over the years during New England’s dominant run.

The Ravens have a young and exciting team led by second-year signal caller Lamar Jackson, and if there’s anything that a Bill Belichick-coached team has been known to do, it’s contain and confuse young quarterbacks. The Patriots remain the Super Bowl favorites and are the league’s defending champion, but this matchup on November 3rd at M&T Bank Stadium could loom large in determining home field advantage when playoffs roll around in January.

Cleveland Browns vs. New England Patriots

This matchup pits the defending champion and league’s gold standard in the Patriots against the supposed next major threat to them in the AFC. The Browns have been anointed the hot new team after a flashy offseason that was highlighted by the acquisition of one of the game’s elite talents in Odell Beckham Jr., and when paired with second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield – coming off of an incredibly impressive rookie campaign – many believe that this Cleveland offense has the juice to play with the big dogs like New England.

This game between these two teams game occurs on October 27th at Gillette Stadium, and if the Browns come into this game with any momentum and look the part of a true playoff contender, expect the hype for this game to be as high as any game in the NFL in the 2019 regular season. If Cleveland can win on the road at Gillette, it means they’ve officially arrived and the rest of the AFC has been put on notice.

New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles

This game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly on November 17th is not just a rematch of 2018’s Super Bowl LII, but it’s also a potential preview of Super Bowl LIV in Miami this February – seriously. The Eagles have the look of a loaded team under head coach Doug Peterson, and a healthy Carson Wentz with plenty of weapons to throw to like Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and the newly-acquired former Eagle DeSean Jackson. This offense against the Patriots stout defense could prove to one of the more entertaining battles of the entire season, and a notoriously raucous Philly home crowd could give Tom Brady and the offense fits.

At the end of the day, the Patriots will likely be favored in this game no matter what record the Eagles will have coming into it. Fans can only hope for a game half as entertaining as the one they got to watch in Minneapolis two years ago, and each team has enough holdovers from that game to get close to that.

New England Patriots 2019 Schedule

Week Date Opponent Time (ET)
1 Sun. Sept. 8 vs Steelers 8:20 p.m.
2 Sun. Sept. 15 @ Dolphins 1 p.m.
3 Sun. Sept. 22 vs Jets 1 p.m.
4 Sun. Sept. 29 @ Bills 1 p.m.
5 Sun. Oct. 6 @ Redskins 1 p.m.
6 Thurs. Oct. 10 vs Giants 8:20 p.m.
7 Mon. Oct. 21 @ Jets 8:15 p.m.
8 Sun. Oct. 27 vs Browns 4:25 p.m.
9 Sun. Nov. 3 @ Ravens 8:20 p.m.
10 BYE
11 Sun. Nov 17 @ Eagles 4:25 p.m.
12 Sun. Nov. 24 vs Cowboys 4:25 p.m.
13 Sun. Dec. 1 @ Texans 8:20 p.m.
14 Sun. Dec. 8 vs Chiefs 4:25 p.m.
15 Sun. Dec. 15 @ Bengals 1 p.m.
16 Sun. Dec. 22 vs. Bills TBD
17 Sun. Dec. 29 vs. Dolphins 1 p.m.
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