First up for the New England Patriots after their bye week: Carson Wentz (11) and the Philadelphia Eagles. Brad Penner/AP Images for Panini

The New England Patriots return from a four-day bye week break refreshed and ready to tackle the remaining seven games on their schedule.

With the 37-20 loss to the Ravens their most recent game, they will try to remedy the areas they were exploited and get back in the win column.

After a week of self-scouting, the Patriots, at 8-1, will pick it back up starting in Philadelphia on Sunday.

“We know we have athletic quarterbacks coming up. We wouldn’t be surprised if we get some of the same things we got with the Ravens,” safety Duron Harmon said before break. “That’s how the league works. The good thing, everything that happened in the game, we know is fixable. We have a lot of hard workers. We have people who are going to put the work in to make sure what happened (against the Ravens) doesn’t happen again. … We’ve gotta be better. We will be better.”

Of the seven remaining games, there are five that figure to pose the biggest challenge including the Eagles. As ESPN analyst Damien Woody remarked last week: “They don’t have cupcakes coming down the stretch.”

In terms of difficulty, here’s our ranking of the top five of the seven remaining games:

1. CHIEFS (Week 15, home)

Record: 6-4 (2-3 home, 4-1 away)

Head coach: Andy Reid

Starting QB: Patrick Mahomes

Key injuries: Mahomes returned after missing three games with a dislocated right kneecap. Tackle Eric Fisher (groin), DE Alex Okafor (ankle), G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle) and CB Kendall Fuller (thumb) were notable scratches from Sunday’s game with the Titans.

Skinny: Yes, they were beaten by the Titans on Sunday. But the Chiefs will be the most difficult challenge down the stretch for the Patriots for one simple reason: they have the best quarterback.

“With Patrick Mahomes back, with everyone they have around him, that’s going to be a hell of a game,” said Woody.

Round 3 figures to be just that. Last season, the Pats managed to contain Mahomes for a half in both games played. As for the other half, Mahomes figured out whatever the defense was doing and was unstoppable. The Pats defense is better this year. Will he be as mobile with that knee, or have to stay in the pocket? He looked just fine against the Titans, throwing for over 400 yards, making his usual brand of outrageous plays including a jump-pass to Mecole Hardman for a touchdown. He’s dangerous whether in the pocket or on the move.

On the flipside, Tom Brady was able to pick apart that defense and produce enough points to counter Mahomes. It took having the ball on the last possession. Does Brady have enough weapons to do the same this year? Teams have run on the Chiefs including the Titans, who pulled out a 35-32 victory Sunday. The Pats haven’t a shown an ability to run as yet. The Titans ultimately pulled off the upset thanks to a botched field goal attempt by KC, and later a blocked attempt, as the Chiefs might be fighting for a playoff spot or positioning at that point.

2. EAGLES (Week 11, away)

Record: 5-4 (3-1 home, 2-3 road)

Head coach: Doug Pederson

Starting QB: Carson Wentz

Key injuries: WR DeSean Jackson (abdomen) was placed on IR last week, joining RB Corey Clement (shoulder) and DT Malik Jackson (foot). Notables nursing injuries during their bye were T Jason Peters (knee), OLB Nigel Bradham (ankle) and WR Alshon Jeffery (ankle).

Skinny: The Eagles are fighting to stay in the division race with the Cowboys, as well as the playoff hunt. They’ve been plagued by injuries all season, but have won two straight when many were ready to stick a fork in them. They’ll be a tough out, especially at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles run the ball as effectively as anyone, and coming on the heels of the Pats’ problems against the Ravens, that will be a major storyline. Wentz operates the RPO (run-pass-option) incredibly well. Jordan Howard is among the league’s top running backs. Zack Ertz is a handful at tight end. Pederson has beaten the Patriots in the Super Bowl with Nick Foles as his quarterback. Like the Ravens, his team won’t fear the Patriots.

3. TEXANS (Week 14, away)

Record: 6-3 (3-1 home, 3-2 away)

Head coach: Bill O’Brien

Starting QB: Deshaun Watson

Key injuries: WR Will Fuller (hamstring), S Tashaun Gipson (back), CB Bradley Roby (hamstring), CB Lonnie Johnson (concussion), T Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) and OL Greg Mancz (concussion) were all nursing injuries during a bye week. DE J.J. Watt (torn pectoral) is out for the season.

Skinny: Unlike Pederson, Texans coach O’Brien has never beaten Bill Belichick. He’s 0-5 against his former mentor. Putting that aside, his team does stack up well against the Patriots, especially with the game in Houston. The Pats will face another mobile quarterback in Watson, who is having an MVP-type season. Carlos Hyde is one of the top backs in the NFL. DeAndre Hopkins and Fuller are a great one-two punch at receiver. They still have one of the worst offensive lines in football, which the Patriots are likely to exploit. If Watson has time, however, he’s as good as anyone. The defense is missing Watt, but Romeo Crennel’s scheme has given Brady trouble in the past, rushing up the middle. But they’re ranked around 20th in the league in terms of points per game.

4. COWBOYS (Week 12, home)

Record: 5-4 (3-2 home, 2-2 road)

Head coach: Jason Garrett

Starting QB: Dak Prescott

Key injuries: OL Cameron Fleming was out against the Vikings.

Skinny: As usual, the Cowboys have a talented team. Kellen Moore is now calling the shots on offense, and that’s been a positive. Prescott & Co. have looked dominant at times behind one of the best offensive lines in football. The Cowboys have one of the top-rated offenses in the league, with Ezekiel Elliot averaging almost 100 yards per game. Prescott has been effective deep down the field with Cooper and Michael Gallup. Tight end Jason Witten came out of retirement and continues to make plays. Defensively, former Patriot Michael Bennett was added to bolster their pass rush. As Bennett knows, his former team is especially tough to beat in Foxboro. The Cowboys have run hot and cold depending on the quality of opponent. Sunday night, they didn’t measure up to the Vikings at home.

5. BILLS (Week 16, home)

Record: 6-3 (3-2 home, 3-1 away)

Head coach: Sean McDermott

Starting QB: Josh Allen

Key injuries: They emerged from their bye week against the Browns with a relatively healthy team.

Skinny: Allen and the Bills offense didn’t do much the first meeting in Buffalo, a 16-10 Pats win. There’s no reason to believe Allen will all of a sudden start hitting targets and stop making killer mistakes. But the Bills defense gave Brady fits, which is usually the case under McDermott. They’ve had some issues stopping the run (Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt combined for 146 yards in the Browns victory over the Bills Sunday), but the Patriots haven’t exactly been able to exploit defenses with similar issues. This game might have huge implications for the Bills, who could be fighting for a playoff spot. The Patriots are going to get their best game.

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