What will the New England Patriots look like in 2023 and beyond?

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (right) looks on behind head coach Bill Belichick Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (right) looks on behind head coach Bill Belichick Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2022 season for the New England Patriots might be one of the most important ones in recent memory as it relates to the future state of the franchise.

The 2021 season was a giant step in the right direction for the New England Patriots.  The team had extreme success with a rookie quarterback in Mac Jones.

His 10-7 rookie season leading to a playoff berth in a very good AFC was a great sign of things to come.

Now, as we approach the first preseason game and week one of the regular season, the direction of the Patriots already feels different, and not in a good way.

Bill Belichick decided to not name coordinators, and the offense has looked mostly poor in training camp.  Mac Jones hasn’t been great, and now questions have begun to swirl around the team.

Many across the NFL landscape are now talking about scenarios where the Patriots regress in 2022, which largely means that Mac Jones regresses too.

With Bill Belichick now 70 years old and not seemingly wanting to adapt to today’s modern NFL, is there a scenario where the Patriots end up in a different direction starting in 2023?

I am predicting the team to go 7-10 this season, and those predictions are set to go live on the website next month.

The AFC is loaded, and I don’t think the team is going to have enough to put them in the playoffs.

They will win games and be competitive during the season, but I don’t see a path towards the playoffs, especially with what we have seen go down in training camp.

If the New England Patriots end up with their second losing season in three seasons, could Robert Kraft decide that enough is enough?

The relationship between Kraft and Belichick has never really been great, and his games with the coaching staff seem to be getting old.

Not naming offensive or defensive coordinators and having Matt Patricia, a defensive coach, calling plays for the offense doesn’t seem ideal.

Bill Belichick is an old school coach who loves playing great defense and supporting that with an outstanding running game.

What Belichick likes on the field is falling out of a favor in the NFL, and Kraft could simply decide to head towards what many teams across the league are doing–prioritizing offense, starting by hiring an offensive minded head coach.

There could also be an interesting decision to make with Mac Jones.  Jones clearly has talent, but he does not have nearly the ceiling that some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL have, like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson.

Would Robert Kraft be OK with entrusting Mac Jones to lead the franchise?  Because in New England, leading a franchise is more than just winning games and making the playoffs.

The standard is Super Bowl.   Is Mac Jones going to be that type of player, and is the Belichick-Jones marriage something that could lead to Super Bowls?

I think these are conversations that the team should begin to have after the 2022 season, which is likely not going to go too well.