We are almost there. In just over 72 hours, the New England Patriots will open the 2016 season against the Arizona Cardinals.
Here are six bold predictions for the Sunday Night Football opener between the Patriots and Cardinals.
6. LeGarrette Blount will carry the Patriots’ offense.
A lethal pass rush? A ball hawking secondary? The best way for the Patriots to get around these roadblocks is simple: establish the run early, and stick with it all night. Front and center of that strategy will be Blount, the Patriots’ best ball carrier and one of the NFL’s better straight-line, north-south power runners.
The best way to make inexperienced starter Jimmy Garoppolo feel comfortable in the pocket is to force the Cardinals to respect the run game. That way, Garoppolo can utilize the play-action fake and have an extra second or two to find his target (and he will need every split second he can get in this game).
Expect Blount to pass the 125 yard-mark and reach the end zone twice in Week 1.
Next: 5. Jones will not record a sack