While we’re all anxious to see how the 2023 season goes, the Patriots might end up creating a huge problem for themselves come next offseason. I don’t think I’m a pessimistic person, but man, the Pats could be in truly deep trouble this time next year if things don’t change.
The 2023 season is going to be one of the biggest and most important in recent memory, and there’s jobs on the line on the roster and on the coaching staff based on this season. The team has made some necessary tweaks thus far, and I’d say that they are a better team, coaching included right now than they were at any point in the 2022 season.
Hopefully this can lead to some better football being played and more wins, but I can see a huge problem developing depending on how the 2023 season goes.
Patriots could face massive problem this time next year
The biggest issue that the Pats have on their roster at the moment is their quarterback situation, in my humble opinion.
Mac Jones’ rookie season was very encouraging. It seemed like the team had their franchise guy going forward, but as we all know and watched, Jones regressed in 2022. The reasons for his regression are up for debate, but it’s not outrageous to suggest that the regression was mainly because of Matt Patricia and his inability to scheme a competent offense.
That is a valid reason, but then seeing rookie QB Bailey Zappe playing well also makes me think that perhaps Mac Jones did indeed regress some on his own.
Well, I think most of us can agree to an extent that Jones’ ceiling as a QB is low, especially compared to some of his QB mates in the AFC.
There is no scenario where Jones’ play can touch the levels of Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Trevor Lawrence.
Honestly, he’s just not that special as a QB. I think he can settle in as an efficient passer and could peak as a Kirk Cousins/Derek Carr type of QB, which is fine.
However, even if Jones hits that level at some point, what good does that do for the Patriots? Seriously, the team won eight games last year and I have a hard time seeing them winning more than eight games again in 2023.
The AFC is simply just too good at the moment. If Tom Brady was still in town, this discussion would be totally different.
The massive problem that I think can develop for the Patriots next year is them having another average season, missing the playoffs, picking in the middle of the first round, and having no clear direction.
If the Pats go 8-9 again, Bill Belichick likely does not remain as the head coach.
If the Pats go 8-9 again, the offense likely doesn’t improve a ton and the future of Mac Jones becomes even more foggy.
If the Pats go 8-9 again, and are picking in the middle of the first round, what direction should they go? Should they trade up 10 slots in the 2024 NFL Draft to select their QB of the future? Do they want to give up that much draft capital to be able to do that?
Do they try and re-tool the roster since 8-9 isn’t exactly that far off of being a playoff team?
I think the worst possible place to be at in the NFL is that weird middle ground where you aren’t contending and aren’t truly rebuilding, and that’s the massive problem the Patriots can find themselves in.