On ESPN’s “NFL Schedule Release Show” on Tuesday night, the panel of Tedy Bruschi, Darren Woodson and Adam Schefter dissected the Patriots’ 2010 schedule.
“This is what it’s all about this year and what Patriots fans should look at with this schedule. It’s not the Colts game -- it will be exciting, but it’s division games, when you play the Jets and the Dolphins especially,” Bruschi said. “It’s not a given that the New England Patriots will win this division any more. The Jets and Dolphins are both legitimate contenders. I think it’s a three-team race. Buffalo, you have some work to do, but it’s the Jets, Dolphins and Patriots neck and neck for this division and these divisional games are huge.”
Woodson pointed out how in Weeks 6, 7 and 8, the Patriots face three of the most physical teams in the NFL in Baltimore, San Diego and Minnesota, which looks like their most difficult stretch.
Schefter noted how the Patriots will be playing on Thanksgiving, which was part of the idea of putting some of the NFL’s marquee teams on the schedule that day.
“That’s a different approach than other years,” Schefter said.
As the discussion continued, host Trey Wingo called the Patriots “a team in transition” and looked in Bruschi’s direction. Bruschi talked about the importance of coming away with two to three starters out of the 2010 draft, while also noting how crucial it is to develop prospects from last year’s draft as well.
Bruschi then noted the Patriots’ bye, which comes early in Week 5.
“With that Week 5 bye, Wes Welker is recovering, and that gives them another week for him to recover without playing an opponent, so that could be an advantage there,” he said.