With the Red Sox faltering and obviously not making the postseason, it feels like the time is right to shift our fan focus to the Patriots, doesn’t it?

No one knows exactly what this season will bring as the NFL deals with COVID-19 and what that means for what the season will look like in general. The league does at least have the benefit of having watched the other sports leagues deal with the pandemic and just maybe that will make things go more smoothly for the NFL, with a little help from hopefully players that follow the guidelines set forth for them.

There’s a lot to consider as the Patriots 2020-21 season gets underway. The most obvious question is just how the team will do without Tom Brady and with Cam Newton stepping into his mighty shoes. A lot can happen over a 16-game season, but at this point no one is looking at the Patriots as a Super Bowl contender. That’s something that the Patriots team, and fans alike, are not used to.

That all being said, the Patriot will kick off their season against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM. Coverage here on 1420 WBEC will begin at 12:00 PM.

Among the latest news items for the Patriots:

Five-time Pro Bowler Aqib Talib announced his retirement from the NFL on his new podcast Wednesday. Talib said he was excited about reuniting with Bill Belichick and the Patriots, but after he began looking at flights and apartments, Talib took a look at the Patriots' schedule and asked himself if he really wanted to cover the likes of George Kittle, Travis Kelce, Darren Waller and Noah Fant, among others.

The Patriots have lost three of their top six tacklers from last season when linebackers Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy left in free agency and Dont'a Hightower opted to sit out 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns. For now, the Patriots will try to make up for those absences by leaning on its veterans. They will also look for contributions from rookies Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings.

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The Patriots Full 2020-21 Season Schedule:

Week 1: vs. Miami, Sunday, Sept. 13, 1 p.m.

Week 2: @ Seattle, Sunday, Sept. 20, 8:20 p.m.

Week 3: vs. Las Vegas, Sunday, Sept. 27, 1 p.m.

Week 4: @ Kansas City, Sunday, Oct. 4, 4;25 p.m.

Week 5: vs. Denver, Sunday, Oct. 11, 1 p.m.

Week 6: Bye Week - No Game

Week 7: vs. San Francisco, Sunday, Oct. 25, 4:25 p.m.

Week 8: @ Buffalo, Sunday, Nov. 1, 1 p.m.

Week 9: @ New York Jets, Monday, Nov. 9, 8:15 p.m.

Week 10: vs. Baltimore, Sunday, Nov. 15, 8:20 p.m.

Week 11: @ Houston, Sunday, Nov. 22, 1 p.m.

Week 12: vs. Arizona, Sunday, Nov. 29, 1 p.m.

Week 13: @ Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 6, 4:25 p.m.

Week 14: @ Los Angeles Rams, Thursday, Dec. 10, 8:20 p.m.

Week 15: @ Miami, Sunday, Dec. 20, 1 p.m.

Week 16: vs. Buffalo, Monday, Dec. 28, 8:15 p.m.

Week 17: vs. New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 3, 1 p.m.