The New England Patriots have a few issues on their hands that need figured out and solved for the sake of their long-term viability. The team went 10-7 in the 2021 season and seemed to be trending upwards.
However, things came crashing down in the 2022 season. The Pats finished with a losing record and missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. This past year opened revealed quite a few issues the team has that need taken care off, not just for the immediate future but for the long-term.
So, what long-term issues do the Patriots currently have?
Do the Patriots have any long-term issues to solve?
Bill Belichick turns 71 years old in April and isn’t going to be coaching for much longer. Finding a quality head coach in the NFL, or in any sport for that matter. If Belichick leaves the team as the head coach in the next few years, will the Patriots have a competent succession plan in place?
Jerod Mayo seems to be the guy to replace Belichick at this moment, but there’s just so much unknown in a new head coach and a huge reason why the Pats have stayed relevant for all these years is because of Belichick.
Unless Mac Jones proves otherwise, he is not a long-term QB in the NFL. His regression in 2022 as quite hard to watch, but as of now it seems as though he’ll get the nod in 2023 to try and redeem himself. Honestly, even if Mac Jones plays well, it might not be enough.
What if he’s just another Kirk Cousins or Derek Carr? Is that considered a franchise QB? Should the Pats feel comfortable settling for an average QB to lead their franchise?
I’m not so sure, especially being in the AFC. The team could solve this issue by trying to get Lamar Jackson on their team, but that apparently isn’t happening.
3. Wide Receiver
What’s happened recently is the emergence of the wide receiver as the focal point of an offense. Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Cooper Kupp, the list goes on. The elite offenses in the NFL have elite and game-changing wide receivers.
And that isn’t a coincidence. The Patriots do not have that type of player on their roster and I’m afraid their offense won’t be able to compete in the loaded AFC until they do. At this point, their best chance at finding one is using their 14th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on a player that has WR1 potential.