The New England Patriots are soon set to begin their 2022 season. Given the loads of talent in the AFC, how could this season go? While many in the NFL world have all but counted the Patriots out this season, I see a few scenarios where they enjoy success.
However, the AFC will be an absolute bloodbath, and over 10 teams have a realistic shot at making the playoffs. For that reason, the variance will be huge. A team that might be able to secure the fifth seed in the playoffs could miss the postseason all together.
And if everything clicks for a certain team, perhaps they could make a 2021 Bengals type of surge. With the endless possibilities that can happen in 2022, let’s try to narrow it down to the three most likely scenarios for the 2022 New England Patriots.
Most likely scenarios for the 2022 New England Patriots
3. The team bottoms out, wins 5 games or less
I don’t think this is super likely, so it’s the least likely on this list. In this scenario, little goes right for the Patriots this season. Between their less than ideal offense during the offseason, no true offensive coordinator, and good but not great roster, the Patriots could find themselves down very deep in the AFC.
It would be uncharacteristic to see the Patriots only win a handful of games, but the 2020 and 2021 seasons haven’t been that kind to the team since Tom Brady left. Their 2021 season wasn’t terrible, but actually was a bit encouraging, so you’d have thought that their offseason would have been more proactive.
That unfortunately wasn’t the case, and the Patriots are rolling with the players they have now. They aren’t likely to make any big moves before the season, and I think there’s a scenario where the team totally bottoms out.
2. Team builds on their 2021 season, makes playoffs again
I think the Patriots making the playoffs in 2022 is more likely than them only winning a handful of games. While much of the focus for the team has had a negative vibe, the team is still coached by Belichick, still will have an elite defense, has a rock solid offensive line, and has a promising second year quarterback.
The Patriots have some ballers on their team, and when it gets to be November and December, I’d take Bill Belichick over most in late-season action. Belichick’s sustained success in the NFL is an insane sight, and one that may never be replicated in the NFL ever again. His six Super Bowl titles as a head coach and hundreds of wins gives me some faith that he can navigate this team through a tough 2022 season.
1. Team ends up in the irrelevant middle
I think I would feel most comfortable betting on the Patriots winning seven or eight games during the 2022 regular season. It feels like a safe number to me. The Patriots have a few things going right for them, but the AFC arm’s race was evident this offseason, and New England simply does not have the firepower to hang.
The defense will be able to stop offenses adequately, but I’m not sure the offense will have enough to be able to compete with some of the other young, stud quarterbacks in the conference. I also think the situation with the offensive play calling this offseason is a valid concern. It’s clear that the loss of Josh McDaniels is having an impact on the offense, and if they’re having issues during the offseason, I would expect some of those issues to carry over into the regular season.
They’ll be able to hang in the AFC playoff race for a while, but I think we’ll see the team lose their grip on a Wild Card spot in the last few weeks.