Through eight weeks on NFL action, the New England Patriots are 5-2 and are a top contender in the AFC conference. Even coming off a tough loss in Pittsburgh, New England is still one of the better teams in the league.

The Patriots’ November schedule, however, should prove to be an indication of this team’s fate moving forward. An interesting month of football is ahead with an intra-divisional showdown, two match ups with NFC East opponents, and a Monday Night Football game forthcoming. Here is a look at the next four games. -

Week 9 (Nov. 6) – New York Giants @ New England Patriots

Week 10 (Nov. 13) - New England Patriots @ New York Jets

Week 11 (Nov. 21) – Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots

Week 12 (Nov. 27) - New England Patriots @ Philadelphia Eagles

Analysis:

Right off the bat, the Patriots return home to face a New York Giants team that is decimated with injuries. The Giants have been terribly inconsistent all season and struggled to beat a winless Miami Dolphins team last week.

The following week, is the other New York team, the rival New York Jets. This will be an incredibly tough match up for New England and a game I am concerned about at this point in the season.

Looking further ahead to Nov. 21 on Monday Night Football, the Pats play the Kansas City Chiefs. While the Chiefs may not be poised for a Super Bowl run in the near future, they are playing good football under Todd Haley and anything can happen in Monday night games.

Wrapping up the four game stretch, is a road game in Philidelphia. The “Dream Team” Eagles were terrible at the beginning of the season, but have gained some momentum over the past few weeks. Their defense is still not playing up to expectations, but their offensive weapons could do a number to a New England defense that has given up their fair share of big plays in 2011.

Overall, the month of November should prove to be a battle for New England. How the team comes out of this stretch could be telling of their 2011 aspirations. I feel if the team can come out of November 3-1, the team will be in good shape moving forward. For those results, however, only time will tell.

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