Tuesday September 1st, 2015

The New England Patriots have been under scrutiny this off-season as the Deflategate scandal headed to court, and the conversations about the team's alleged actions during last season's AFC championship game aren't likely to end once the regular season starts.

But despite the buzz surrounding their off-field actions, the Patriots face the task of besting a full slate of NFL teams as they aim to become repeat Super Bowl winners. They may have to do so without Tom Brady at the helm for the first four games of the season, as he serves a suspension for his role in deflating playoff footballs. Instead, they would rely on second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to lead the offense after a mass exodus left their talent depleted.

Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar gave the Patriots a C on their off-season report card for the many departures from the roster that little was done to replenish. Cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, running backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, nose tackle Vince Wilfork and linebacker Akeem Ayers all left New England for new teams.

The Patriots finished with a 12–4 record last season, best in the AFC East and tied for best in the league. They went on to win Super Bowl XLIX for their fourth win in franchise history.

Schedule

Sept. 10: vs. Steelers (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

Sept. 20: at Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Sept. 27: vs. Jaguars (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Oct. 11: at Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)

Oct. 18: at Colts (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

Oct. 25: vs. Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Oct. 29: vs. Dolphins (8:25 p.m. ET, CBS/NFL Network)

Nov. 8: vs. Redskins (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Nov. 15: at Giants (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)

Nov. 23: vs. Bills (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Nov 29: at Broncos (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

Dec. 6: vs. Eagles (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)

Dec. 13: at Texans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Dec. 20: vs. Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Dec. 27: at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Jan. 3: at Dolphins (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

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