If we ignore the Buffalo game (a common weekly phrase in upstate NY) and just begin with a 1-0 record, the Pats are at the quarter pole. Good time to take stock and look ahead: 1st Quarter (2-2) - 2 at home, 2 on the road - All against top 10 teams - 3 top 10 defenses - 2 top 10 offenses - All young quarterbacks Held serve at home, close games on the road, all against good competition. I guess the record is understandable, but neither of the losses were good ones. I would be seriously nervous if this were the final stretch. Luckily it isn't. 2nd Quarter - 2 at home, 1 neutral, 1 bye - None against top 16 teams - 1 top 10 defense - 2 average offenses - 1 vet QB, 1 youngster and whatever the Bucs throw out The Pats spend the next month without stepping into an opposing stadium. In the only "away" game, the Pats get home weather (100% chance of chilly rain) and fan (watch Family Guy...Pats are huge in England) advantage. Miami is always tricky, but the Pats will be coming off a bye while the Fins will playing their 2nd straight tough division roadie. If the Pats aren't 6-2 at halftime, something is seriously wrong. 3rd Quarter - 1 at home, 3 on the road - 3 against top 10 teams - 2 top 5 offenses - 3 top 10 defenses - 2 Pro Bowl QBs and 2 youngsters The meat of the schedule. All of the opponents have interesting tie-breaker implications with the Jets...can't get swept by the Jets, the Jets have already lost to the Saints, the Jets will likely face a disinterested Colts team later in the year and a loss to the Fins probably results in a 4-2 division record tie. Have to beat the Jets at home and get at least one of the road games. 4th Quarter - 2 at home, 2 on the road - None against top 20 teams - 1 top 15 offense - 1 top 15 defense - All vet QBs None of these opponents will be thinking of playoffs and some of them will be answering questions about moving to LA or Canada. A perfect road to the playoffs...opponents just competent enough to keep you on your toes, but not good enough to beat you (besides the "any given Sunday" thing). So the schedule sets up to have a 12-4 Pats team entering the playoffs on a 4+ game winning streak. Likely not a #1 seed (Colts should sleepwalk to 13-14 wins). All things considered, not a super fantastic outlook and anything can still happen but certainly enough optimism to stay off the ledge.