2023 NFL Season: Where will Patriots finish in the AFC East?

New York Jets v New England Patriots
New York Jets v New England Patriots / Billie Weiss/GettyImages

We are still a healthy four months away from the start of the 2023 season, but that should not prevent us from projecting the AFC East in this coming campaign. I personally think that the Patriots are in deep trouble this season. While I think they made some solid additions at player and coach, I don't think it'll be enough to be relevant in 2023.

They are trapped in a division with two teams who made the postseason in 2022 and another team that fielded the league's fourth best defense that just added Aaron Rodgers at QB. This could be a long, long year for the Patriots, and I am truly struggling to find optimism in what I think will be a down year.

Let's make way too early AFC East projections for the 2023 season.

2023 NFL Season: Where will Patriots finish in the AFC East?
1. Buffalo Bills: 12-5

I think the Buffalo Bills are going to win the division this year. It's theirs until another team takes it away from them. I get that they have seemed to underperform in the playoffs recently, but they have shown no slowing down in the regular season.

They'll likely land a top three seed and earn themselves a home playoff game or two. They're powered by the lethal duo of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, and a stingy defense.

2. Miami Dolphins: 11-6

The Dolphins were 8-3 at one point in the 2022 season and limped to a 9-8 finish and a berth in the NFL playoffs. This year, they'll see Tua Tagovailoa play each game and will, along with an improved defense led by Jalen Ramsey and Vic Fangio, win 11 games and earn the top Wild Card spot in the AFC.

I think they'll be good enough to be a division champion, but the Bills are going to give them fits. New England might have a chance to steal a game from the Dolphins when they meet up in New England.

3. New York Jets: 10-7

I've already seen takes from people saying that the 2023 New York Jets are going to be this coming year's version of the Denver Broncos. Honestly, that'd be kind of funny to witness, but I don't think that'll be the case.

New York will be a good team, not a great one. They'll squeak into the playoffs and might do some damage once they get there. After so many years of the Jets being among the bottom teams in the division, 2023 might be the beginning of a new era for them, unfortunately.

4. New England Patriots: 7-10

My personal record prediction for the New England Patriots in 2023 is 7-10. I think they'll be a better team than last year, which might not make sense since they won eight games, but I think the main issue that'll plague them this year is that they simply won't have quite enough on offense to close out games.

I think they'll end up being too reliant on defense once again, even though their offense may take a step. I also attribute this to Mac Jones, who I am low on as well. I think he'll bounce back and be an efficient passer, but it'll end up turning into a mostly pedestrian unit. Going 2-4 in the division seems about right to me.

Furthermore, the Patriots have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL this year, so that certainly isn't helping things either.