Ranking the Patriots’ 5 primetime games on 2022 NFL schedule

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Did you hear the news? The New England Patriots‘ 2022 schedule was released — piece by piece, in infuriating fashion — on Thursday, but Ernie Adams gave us the beauty in its entirety that evening.

And folks … it ain’t easy. The Patriots have zero freebies (well, one: the Lions). Tom Brady leaves and this is the thanks they get? How about that?! What’s even crazier? The Patriots have five primetime games and FOUR in a row from Weeks 12-15, with two on shortened weeks.

With the team’s underwhelming showing in free agency and largely questionable 2022 NFL Draft, fans might be gearing up for a rollercoaster season unless a number of guys who didn’t show up last year manage to carve out a big role while young players take the necessary steps forward.

Is that possible? Yes. Is that asking a lot? Also yes. At the very least, fans can head into the 2022 season knowing the Patriots have a schedule filled with competitive opponents and can play their beloved underdog role … but for real this time. They might actually mostly be underdogs.

Those aforementioned primetime games will be viewed by a national audience, meaning there cannot be a repeat of the AFC Wild Card Game against the Buffalo Bills for the sake of this team’s reputation. All of these matchups have a significant entertainment value, too, which adds even more novelty to next season’s slate. And down the stretch, they will likely be the most important of the entire year.

Ranking the New England Patriots’ 5 primetime games on 2022 NFL schedule

Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

5. Week 7 vs Chicago Bears on MNF

Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears come to Foxborough in Week 7 for the Patriots’ first taste of primetime in 2022, and it’s by far their easiest matchup of this bunch at the moment.

Field started 10 games last year, so he’s pretty much still a rookie, which head coach Bill Belichick will feast on if he has his way. The Bears finished 6-11 last season and arguably got worse when they traded Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers a few months ago. Additionally, they didn’t have a first-round pick in this year’s draft because they traded it to move up and get Fields last year.

There are no true playmakers on their roster and one could say they’re in the midst of a very mediocre rebuild. The veteran players are hardly above-average and the young ones still have a ton to prove.

If we’re to guess, this one will be the least entertaining because the Patriots will roll with relative ease.

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