For the first time since 1978, The National Football League has changed it's schedule. Here's how this new 17 game regular season could ultimately hurt our beloved New England Patriots.

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'Football players play football' - Coach Bill Belichick

If Coach Belichick had his own list of Ten Commandments, I think this phrase would probably crack the Top 3.

This new 17 game schedule does NOT have any additional bye weeks built in for players to recuperate from nagging injuries either.

There are two separate scenarios in which I could see potential problems for New England and both of them are contingent upon a complete disregard for 'load management', which is basically, limiting playing time for star players so they'll remain healthy over the long haul.

My Dooms And Gloom Scenarios

1) The team could either be so beaten up late in the year that they won't be able to compete at the same level when the most crucial games are to be played

OR

2) They could have clinched post season play and STILL have a full roster of stars on the field, potentially hurting themselves in an unimportant game.

I'm not a Bill Belichick basher, heaven knows the market has been cornered on that brand of idiocy lately. I'd love nothing more than for him to surpass Don Shula's 347 win record and win another ring (it would be his ninth overall) in the process.

But with his old school commandment of 'Football players play football' still being followed to the letter in a league where each season is now 6% longer?

I can't help but foresee this Patriots team at a disadvantage when the calendar turns to January.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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