New England Patriots week 2 projections and predictions

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Dion Lewis
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Dion Lewis /

It’s almost time for the New England Patriots to take on the New Orleans Saints, and these are my projections and predictions in week 2.

Are you ready for some REAL New England Patriots football!?

Last week’s loss was awful, but the Patriots should be able to bounce back this week in New Orleans. With kickoff just moments away, here are my bold projections and predictions for a few key players today.

Tom Brady will throw for 350 yards and 3 touchdowns

Last week, Tom Brady was outplayed by game manager Alex Smith. This week, his counterpart is a fellow future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees. Both want to prove that they can still play as they get older, and this could turn into a shootout. Brady is going to easily win that battle as he throws for over 350 yards and three touchdowns.

TB12 is limited with just three wide receivers in the game, but he’ll also have three tight ends as rookie Jacob Hollister will be active. With Hollister, Rob Gronkowski, and Dwayne Allen, Brady will be okay. He’ll also have his pass-catching backs in Dion Lewis, James White, and Rex Burkhead.

Brandin Cooks will grab two 40+ yards catches and will score twice

Brandin Cooks was frustrated in New Orleans, and you know he’s anxious to bring his A-game against his former club. This could be a huge day for Cooks as Brady finds him on two long balls while also hauling in two touchdowns.

The chemistry between Brady and Cooks is one week better, and that can go a long way. This is when Brandin Cooks truly becomes a Patriots star.

Jacob Hollister will be targeted 4-6 times

Jacob Hollister will be active and he’ll make his NFL debut on Sunday. With just three wide receivers in the game, he should see plenty of action as the third tight end.

While the Saints concern themselves with stars like Rob Gronkowski, Brandin Cooks, and the Patriots running backs, Hollister could find himself open quite a bit. That should result in a few targets from his new QB. I expect at least 4 throws to head Hollister’s way.

Harvey Langi will tally his first NFL sack

Harvey Langi is another rookie undrafted free agent making his NFL debut today. The former BYU star is already on the good side with most fans, and he’ll stay there with a sack of Saints QB Drew Brees.

With Dont’a Hightower out, I expect to see Langi in there to help the pass rush. Kyle Van Noy will get a lot of edge looks, but I think Langi will as well. If he can take advantage of this new role, he could find himself on the active roster for weeks to come.

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Malcolm Butler will have an interception

Malcolm Butler was at the center of so many offseason conversations, the loudest of which had him heading to New Orleans. While Butler may not be happy that Stephon Gilmore got so much more money than New England was willing to pay him, he is here now and will give the Patriots his all.

Perhaps looking to prove his worth against the team he almost ended up on, Butler will grab an interception this week.

Dion Lewis will return a punt or kick for a score

The Patriots punt and kick return situation is in question with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Matthew Slater all unavailable. New wide receiver Phillip Dorsett could see a few snaps as a returner, as could defensive backs Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung.

New England though, should go with electric running back Dion Lewis. Last season he was solid as a returner, and he had a touchdown in the Divisional Round of the playoffs against the Houston Texans.

If Lewis gets a chance to return today, he could have another score.

Next: Behind enemy lines with the New Orleans Saints

Score Prediction: 43-24

No way do the Patriots lose two weeks in a row. Tom Brady, Brandin Cooks and the rest of the New England offense will figure things out.

After a few early hiccups, the Patriots defense will also start to click, clamping down on Drew Brees and Mark Ingram. Adrian Peterson will again be a non-factor for the Saints. New England will be heading back to Foxboro with a W this week.