Today, as a Patriots Season Ticket Waitlist Member, ticket packages for the 2010 season went on sale. In the past I usually splurged and bought tickets now but after four seasons of tracking down tickets to Pats game I’m playing it patiently.
It’s a tough call figuring out what game to go to this year. It should be an exciting regular season, I far prefer tough schedules like 2010s (and 2007s) to cake walks like 2008. Here are the top five home and away games this season that I think would be the best to attend as a fan.
- Colts (11/21)- finally Peyton and pals come back to Foxboro for the first time since 2005. Remember when it seemed like every game was played in Foxboro? Well now it’s been five seasons all in Indy, in which the Pats have gone 1-5, including such memorable games as the 2006 AFCCG meltdown and the 2009 4th-and-2 stomach punch. Let’s hope the move back to Foxboro brings back some of the Pats mojo.
- Jets (12/6) – Who knows if the Jets will be 11-0 like they’re expecting to be at this point or in full on disintegration mode. But one thing is for sure, this year’s Jets/Pats games should be legit. Maybe the Jets win the first game, but in December, in Foxboro, your money has to be on the Pats.
- Ravens (10/17) – I’m not really big on the “revenge game” baloney. Teams change too much from year to year, but I do look at the Ravens as one of the top 5 teams in the NFL, and they should provide a great test. And it wouldn’t hurt to redeem ourselves a little bit from the playoff debacle.
- Packers (12/19) – NFL writer/doofus Peter King has the Packers as his best team right now, and if their defense is better they should definitely be a tough matchup for the Pats. This one will be a great tune-up (hopefully) prior to a playoff run.
- Dolphins (½) – The new scheduling system has all the 16th games being played inter-division, so if all goes according the plan this game could have huge playoff implications. Let’s just say I’m happy to see the Phins have to play in Foxboro in January.
- Jets (9/19) – The Jets could very well be coming off a loss to the Ravens and have the weight of the New York media shitstorm coming down on them. Either way the Jets will be ready for the Pats, it will be in their new stadium, and the Pats will be looking to make a statement. This could be the game of the year.
- Chargers (10/24) – As someone who was in San Diego for the 2008 beatdown of the Cassel Pats it’s safe to say San Diego never has a problem getting up for the Pats. Looking at the Chargers schedule it’s very possible they could be undefeated. As always it should be a good game, with Rivers looking to beat Brady for the first time in his career.
- Steelers (11/14) – Big Ben will be back for this one, but Brady has always had a knack for beating the Steelers. As we’re well aware these are always physical battles that will take a toll on both sides.
- Dolphins (10/4) – Pats blew one in Miami last year, one of the more shocking losses of 2009. The Phins always play tough at home (not including 2007 of course). This ends a 3 game inter-division stretch, Pats could have a stranglehold on the AFC East by their bye so they better come out of the gate flying.
- Lions (Turkey Day) – I only put this one on here because it’s the early game on Thanksgiving. Personally I can’t wait to see the new throwback uniforms and hopefully an old fashioned beatdown of the Lions.
OK, I’m finally starting to get sick of Rex Ryan. At first he was like a breath of fresh air for a league that had grown stale with coaches afraid to say the wrong thing. That was last year. Now, it’s getting old fast.
I have never seen a team annoint themselves Super Bowl champs by May like this Jets team has. I am somewhat used to it, we went through the same thing when they got Brett Favre. It doesn’t take much to get a New York team hype machine rolling.
Look I get confidence, I get believing in yourself, but at a certain point it’s time to shut up and get to work.
So let’s just take a moment to have a reality check for the Jets here.
- If the Colts had any balls at all the Jets would not have made the playoffs.
- Mark Sanchez threw 20 interceptions, and was nowhere near as good as Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco were in their rookie seasons. Maybe he’ll be better this year, or maybe he won’t have the running attack he did last year and he’ll be even more exposed.
- LaDainian Tomlinson hasn’t ran hard, stayed healthy and been feared since 2006.
- Jets fans seem to collectively forget Cromartie getting steamrolled by Shonn Greene in the playoffs. And that was the rule last year for him, not the exception.
- No one wanted Jason Taylor, not even the Dolphins. He was a non-factor in both games against the Patriots.
- The Jets cut two of their biggest leaders, Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca, while another Shaun Ellis might not even make it to September. Meanwhile everyone says lack of leadership is the biggest hurdle for the Patriots to overcome.
- Maybe Shonn Greene is the next great NFL runningback. But maybe he isn’t. And if he’s not, or gets hurt, the Jets won’t have the #1 rushing attack in the NFL next year.
- Can anyone tell me who’s playing Safety for the Jets in 2010? Because last time I checked Ed Reed was still in Baltimore.
- Santonio Holmes had a great catch in the Super Bowl, but can anyone tell me the last time a wideout other than Randy Moss switched teams and dominated?
OK, you get the point. I’m not saying the Jets won’t be a good competitive team. I’m not even saying they won’t win the AFCE, but for me all the offseason moves they’ve made depend completely and fully on Mark Sanchez’s progress which just happens to be closely reliant on a completely new backfield.
Rex Ryan has the Jets so high on themselves it’s going to be very, very interesting to see how they react when they lose a couple games. And with the Ravens and Patriots as the first two opponents on the schedule that could happen very, very quickly.