Nfl predictions week 1 2020

2020 NFL schedule leaks: Patriots to host Dolphins in Week 1 season opener

The New England Patriots will get an early chance to play the new-look Miami Dolphins in the 2020 NFL season.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported Thursday the Dolphins will play the Patriots in Week 1 (Sunday, Sept. 13) at Gillette Stadium. The full 2020 regular season schedule for all 32 teams will be revealed Thursday night on NFL Network.

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The Dolphins and Patriots last met in Foxboro in Week 17 of last season, when Miami upset New England and prevented the defending Super Bowl champs from earning a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.

Miami is a popular pick to be among the most improved teams in the 2020 campaign after a busy offseason that saw the Dolphins spend huge in free agency and make three picks in the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. One of those draft picks was Alabama’s star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who Miami selected at No. 5 overall in Round 1. We don’t know if Tagovailoa or veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will start for the Dolphins in Week 1, but it would be cool if the former Crimson Tide star made his pro debut versus the Patriots.

The New York Post reported Thursday the Patriots will play the New York Jets on “Monday Night Football” on Nov. 9. USA TODAY’s Bills Wire also reported Thursday the Patriots will take on the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field a week earlier on Nov. 1.

The AFC East race should be more competitive next season with Tom Brady leaving the Patriots in free agency, but oddsmakers are still confident in New England’s chances of winning the division.

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How Logan Ryan ‘finessed’ the Patriots ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft

How Logan Ryan ‘finessed’ the Patriots ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft

The New England Patriots were big fans of the Rutgers football program during the 2013 NFL Draft. The team had just seven picks yet spent three of those picks on players that went to Rutgers.

Two of those players were defensive backs, Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon. The duo turned into key cogs on the Patriots Super Bowl teams of the mid-late 2010s and found ways to impact the game with their ball skills.

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That said, when preparing for the 2013 NFL Draft, they had a little bit of an advantage over the competition. As Ryan detailed on a recent episode of Devin and Jason McCourty’s “Double Coverage” Podcast, Ryan used his connections to the NFL defensive backs to “finesse” the Patriots a bit.

We finessed the Patriots because I called Dev (Devin McCourty) after I saw his Pro Day, me and Du (Duron Harmon) were doing the Pro Day workout in the weight room like two a days. You know me, I’m a worker. So after we would lift in the summer, at six or seven at night, we’d go back to the weight room and do the Pro Day workout all year. So, we were doing them drills all year.

The preparation would pay off for Ryan and Harmon. The Patriots ultimately held a private pre-draft workout with the draft-eligible Rutgers players. And Ryan was able to get the inside scoop from McCourty about what the workouts would entail so he knew how to prepare for them.

I knew the Patriots warm-up drills. So, me and Du were practicing these drills all week, and so when Bill [Belichick] comes, I’m like shirt off, eight-pack, catching the ball one-handed, sprinting back, I’m in great shape. I know all the drills. Like, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, I know that drill.’ ‘You ever do it before.’ ‘No, I’ve never did it.’ Do the drill with my eyes closed.

I was just working. And straight up, Dev would tell me, ‘Oh Dev, what’s it like? What’s this? What’s that? What do they like to see?’ And me and Du both get drafted in the third round, we both go up there, and the rest is history. But we were working those drills for a year and it paid off.

While the finessing paid off for Ryan and Harmon, it did work for the Patriots as well.

Ryan was a key versatile player on the team’s defense and he played in every game over the course of his four years with the Patriots. He intercepted 13 passes and held his own on the back end. He was key during the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons and actually tied for the team lead in tackles with six.

As for Harmon, he spent seven years with the Patriots serving as a key backup safety and logged 17 interceptions for the squad. He was traded to the Detroit Lions this offseason in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Patriots ended up trading that selection to move up and draft tight end Devin Asiasi.

Needless to say, neither side would trade those selections based on how things turned out. Ryan and Harmon may not be with the team now, but they’ve each had very productive NFL careers and did a lot to help the Patriots win a few Super Bowls this decade.

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