New England Patriots: 1 compelling bold prediction vs Arizona

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 24: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots looks on against the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Patriots 33-26. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 24: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots looks on against the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Patriots 33-26. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots play the Arizona Cardinals away Monday night in a game that is important to their future prospects for making the playoffs. Actually, they all are at this point of the season anyway.

The Cardinals are not a very good football team sitting at 4-8 and third in the NFC West ahead of only the LA Rams, last season’s Super Bowl winner. Go figure.

The Patriots have basically feasted on the NFL’s also-rans, except for their dominance of the New York Jets, a good football team that still can’t seem to beat the Patriots. Play the Jets 19 times and the Pats would be Super Bowl bound. That’s not the case, however.

Yet, for all intents and purposes, Arizona shouldn’t be any more difficult an opponent even away for the Pats than the Jets anywhere. Unless perhaps they are. Let’s take a look and predict the outcome of this tilt.

New England Patriots aren’t very good but the Cardinals are worse

The Patriots have had a topsy-turvy season. They play lousy then they bounce back and repeat the same scenario. That’s called inconsistency and at 6-6 that’s exactly what they’ve demonstrated.

After beating the Jets twice and Indianapolis their season, seemed on the upswing until they played good teams. They’ve dipped in the past two games losing to both Minnesota and quite predictably the mighty Buffalo Bills. No surprise there.

This week should be different, however. The Cardinals aren’t a good team and many will see this as a feast for the Patriots. But not so fast.

First, the Patriots offense is basically blasè and they did nothing at the trade deadline to make things any better. They also have big trouble getting into the end zone.

While his completion percentage is solid, Mac Jones’ TD to Interception record is terrible. Seven touchdowns with seven interceptions in nine games aren’t going to make a big splash anywhere.

In addition, the Pats have trouble scoring touchdowns against all but the poorest defenses (hello Minnesota Vikings). They just aren’t very good. Lots of the responsibility for their dreadful performance can be placed at the door of Head Coach Bill Belichick and his appointment of a defensive coach, Matt Patricia to run the offense.

The result there was predictable and was cited often by NFL cognoscenti as a questionable move at best and totally obtuse at worst. They’ve been proven right. Embarrassingly, even the Pats’ opposition lampoons them. The Pats’ offense is as predictable as snow in Buffalo in the winter. They are just about at a basic high school complexity level.

Belichick’s defense of this situation notwithstanding, it’s been a flop as both second-year quarterback Mac Jones and the offense, in general, have regressed dramatically from last season’s pretty good offense. And everyone outside of the coaches’ room at Gillette Stadium seems to realize that.

Absent a surprisingly and unexpectedly good defense (unless they play a top offense that is) they’d be mired even deeper in last place in the AFC East.

The New England Patriots thankfully play the Cardinals

On the other sideline, fortunately, is a Cardinals defense that has allowed the third most points in the NFL to this point. They are terrible. So that may give the hapless Patriot’s offense some opportunities. But, not so fast. The Cardinals have an ace up their sleeve.

Chowder And Champions
Chowder And Champions /

Want your voice heard? Join the Chowder And Champions team!

Write for us!

Generically, that would be a multi-role quarterback and specifically, that would be the dynamic dual-threat runner and passer from Arizona, Kyler Murray. While he’s taken his lumps in the media, Murray is kryptonite to a defense like the Patriots at times super unit.

If a quarterback can run, all bets are off for the Patriots’ defense. They fail early and often to keep contain and allow elusive quarterbacks the opportunities to burn them both by improvised throws on broken pays or by tucking the ball under his arm and gashing them for big gainers on the ground.

Add super-talented wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the equation and it spells big trouble for a Patriots secondary that can’t contain the best wideouts much at all. While Hopkins is having a relatively down season for him, with 49 catches for only 574 yards and three touchdowns, expect him to fatten up those stats and feast against the Patriots’ secondary.

Next. NFL rumors: Bill O’Brien best choice for Patriots next offensive coordinator. dark

All this adds up to one thing, another loss for the New England Patriots, this time against a team that on paper is worse than they are. Look for a score of about 30-17 and a win for the Cardinals in this one. Murray and Hopkins should be the difference-makers.