The defending Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots start their quest to repeat in 20 days. Looking ahead at the schedule this year they face some tough competition along the way.

They play their AFC East members six times, and then face the NFC South this year as well. New England has a very tough schedule and it includes some of the better teams in the AFC. that Let’s look at  five New England Patriots games to anticipate in 2017.

5.) Week One: Kansas City at New England (Sept 7th)

The excitement continues to build for opening night of the NFL, and seeing the defending champions banner drop. With two of the best teams in the AFC going head to head, it should be a great first game of the football season.  The Patriots match up very well against Kansas City on both the offensive and defensive side of the football.

The match-up between Alex Smith and Tom Brady should be a good one. The Patriots offense looks stout, but the Kansas City Chiefs puts a tough defense on the field. Look for this game to be a good all-around game with the Patriots coming out on top.

4.) Week Five: New England at Tampa Bay (Oct 5th)

Another Thursday Night Football showdown that should provide some fireworks. This match-up has the NFL’s best, Tom Brady, against the up-and-coming Jameis Winston. Both offenses can be lethal at times, and could create a high scoring game. Grit and motivation may determine the outcome.  Which defense plays   better that day, and who wants it more?  With the national spotlight, the young Buccaneers could struggle a little bit.

3.) Week 15 New England at Pittsburgh (Dec 17th)

This game so late in the season could have serious playoff implications. The Patriots and the Steelers are both top tier teams in the NFL, and always produce a good game. The match-up of Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady is always fun to watch. The Patriots have all the weapons on offense. The Steelers defense needs to find out how to stop them.

This game could make a huge difference in who goes to the Super Bowl, and who does not. Home-field advantage could be on the line, and a win could solidify that for one team. Look for this match-up to be an intriguing one to watch.

2.) Week 11 New England at Oakland (In Mexic0) (Nov 19th)

This matchup is the AFC Championship game everyone wanted to see a year ago. With Derek Carr injured, we lost the chance to see that game. Now we finally get Carr vs Brady, and who isn’t excited to see that? Both teams have made significant moves this off season and the offenses looks tough to beat.

Consistency throughout the entire game will likely determine the outcome.  I like the thought of the Patriots defense stopping Derek Carr.  Looking ahead, this might easily top the list of best games, but there is one game better.

1.) Week 7: Atlanta at New England (Oct 22)

The rematch that everyone wants to watch, Super Bowl LI part two. This regular season matchup is one that will be talked about for a long time — Atlanta at New England. This has to be the most anticipated game of the regular season, and has the whole NFL buzzing. Atlanta gets a chance to avenge their Super Bowl loss, when they blew a seemingly untouchable 28-3 lead. Both teams are in the top tier of the NFL, and considered favorites to go back to Super Bowl LII.

Matt Ryan vs Tom Brady: the sequel, looks like a hit.  Two great quarterbacks who can lead their respected teams on the field. This match-up has everything that people want in a football game.   Look for this game to be the best game of the regular season, and for the Pats to repeat the win, minus the 28-3 lead that Atlanta had.