Last year, after the New England Patriots lost to the Denver Broncos in the AFC championship game (I predicted the Patriots would win), some of you in no-uncertain terms let me know I should never, ever, ever, in-my-life, ever again predict anything anymore (as if it was my fault the Broncos won).

I was cool with that. Heck, I always finished last in the Portland Press Herald’s high school football picks, a feat that my co-workers remind me of constantly. My boss even pulled me from those predictions this fall.

But about a week ago he called me over to his desk. The conversation went something like this:

Him: “I’d like you to write a column on the Patriots for the season opener.”

Me: “Well, I haven’t been down there yet this preseason.”

Him: “That’s OK. I like that column you write, predicting every game they play. Why don’t you do that?”

Me: “People hate my predictions. You should see my emails.”

Him: “That’s OK. I like it.”

So here are my best guesses on a team that I think has a Super Bowl-worthy defense, an all-timer at quarterback with a chip on his shoulder again and perhaps the greatest coach in history.

Here’s a hint: I think they’ll be pretty good. And if you disagree with my picks, vent to my boss.

Sept. 11: at Arizona 24, New England 21

No Tom Brady. No Rob Ninkovich. No, gulp, Gronk. No chance? Nah. The Patriots’ defense will put desert heat on the Cardinals and Jimmy G. will be fine filling in for Mr. Brady. But a late strip sack by Chandler Jones sets up the winning points. Why can’t the Patriots get defensive players like that?

Sept. 18: at New England 35, Miami 18

Yeah, there’s no way the Patriots lose this home opener with that giant poster of Tom Brady looking over their shoulders. The Dolphins’ players complain afterward, saying that Brady’s eyes seemed to follow them along the field. The NFL announces an investigation into what becomes known as Eyegate.

Sept. 22: at New England 28, Houston 14

The Patriots welcome back old friend Vince Wilfork by having every restaurant in the Foxborough area cater the Texans’ pregame spread. Several Texans are seen eating ginormous smoked turkey legs on the sideline. Jimmy G. outruns an over-filled Houston defense for a 90-yard score in the third quarter of this Thursday nighter.

Oct. 2: at New England 31, Buffalo 17

The Patriots celebrate David Ortiz’s final regular-season game at Fenway Park by spitting into their hands and clapping them before every play. The Bills’ defensive players lose three fumble recoveries when the ball squirts out of their hands, prompting an NFL investigation into Spitgate.

Oct. 9: New England 52, at Cleveland 7

The game everyone in the multiverse (that’s a comic book term for non-geeks) has been waiting for. Josh Gordon returns to the Browns. Oh, yeah, some guy name Brady returns to the Patriots lineup. He’s pretty good. What did the Browns do to deserve this?

Oct. 16: at New England 27, Cincinnati 21

Before the game, Brady climbs up the lighthouse and rips down the giant Tom Brady poster. Don’t need it anymore; the real thing is here, he says afterward, sporting yet another new haircut. The internet explodes with memes showing each of the 10,000 haircuts he’s had since joining the Patriots.

Oct. 23: at Pittsburgh 31, New England 17

Look, the Patriots only win at Heinz Field in the playoffs. So they’re not worried about this one. Big Ben is absolutely incredible, at one point shrugging off every defender en route to a 2-yard gain.

Oct. 30: at Buffalo 21, New England 18

What? Two losses in a row? Unheard of. Except … weird things happen around Halloween. New Patriots receiver Chris Hogan, formerly of the Bills, gets spun around on a short pass and runs into the wrong end zone. He drops the ball, thinking he’s scored, and it’s recovered by the Bills for game-winning score.

Nov. 6: Bye week

Patriots rest up. I put the grill away for the winter and make a nice beef stew.

Nov. 13: at Patriots 28, Seattle 24

You can’t make this up (well, actually I am right now but that’s another matter). In a riveting Sunday night game, Seattle drives inside the 5 with less than 10 seconds left and Russell Wilson throws an interception to Malcolm Butler to clinch win for Patriots. It’s deja vu all over again. “I didn’t think they’d expect it again,” said a dejected Pete Carroll.

Nov. 20: Patriots 38, at San Francisco 17

Sorry, got nothing witty to say about this one. Patriots dominate. Gronk rolls. Edelman is great. Defense gets 10 sacks. All is good.

Nov. 27: Patriots 27, at N.Y. Jets 18

Another Sunday nighter, which means a lot of folks will be late to work on post-Thanksgiving Monday. No butt fumble here, but it’s a big butt-kicking by the Patriots’ defense, which continues to throttle opposing teams. Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower simply dominate this one.

Dec. 4: at Patriots 38, L.A. Rams 14

The Patriots honor their 2001 Super Bowl champs at halftime in this one. Ty Law, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi and Roman Phifer come out of retirement to play the second half and hold the Rams scoreless.

Dec. 12: at Patriots 27, Baltimore 21

A Monday night thriller in Foxborough. Brady directs a winning drive in the final minutes with a touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett, helping my fantasy football team clinch another win. Big plays everywhere in this one, enough to fill highlight reels for a whole week leading into the next big showdown.

Dec. 18: at Denver 23, New England 16

No Peyton-Brady talk anymore, which is OK. This one is all about the defenses and the Broncos simply make every play down the stretch. Besides, the Patriots can’t win in Denver. Everyone told me that after last year’s AFC title game loss. I mean, everyone.

Dec. 24: at New England 24, N.Y. Jets 17

To celebrate Christmas Eve, the Patriots leave a small gift under the seat of every fan at Gillette. It’s another AFC East Division championship hat. Go ahead, celebrate another one.

Jan. 1: New England 23, at Miami 14

This is always the hardest game of the season to predict. Division title clinched. Playoffs approaching. Who plays? Who doesn’t? Who cares? Rookie Cyrus Jones caps great first season with a punt return and kickoff return for a touchdown.