3 Patriots players who need to finish the 2023 season strong

New England Patriots v Denver Broncos
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Chad Ryland 

Despite kicking a game-winning field goal from 56 yards in Denver, Ryland’s rookie season has been awful. Some may say if they haven’t cut him, they never will since he’s missed nine kicks total this season, and his eight missed field goals lead the league. Only Graham Gano had a worse success rate in 2023, and he only played eight games for the Giants. 

Ryland’s blushes have been saved by an offense that has rarely made it into field goal range. Considering how ineffectual the offense has been, a long-range field goal kicker may have helped. But Ryland has hit just 50% of his attempts from 50 yards out or more.

Six kickers are hitting free agency in 2024, and there could be as many as five rookie kickers available in April. Unless he can end the season faultlessly, Ryland’s future is unclear. 

Trent Brown 

It feels like Brown’s time in New England is coming to an end, as he's been quite outspoken in the media, and he seems as unhappy with the state of the team as the fans have been about his performances. 

Brown hasn’t actually played poorly in 2023, but he’s been a part of a struggling offensive line. He has only conceded two penalties this season and allowed just three sacks; five bad snaps out of the 579 he’s played seems more than reasonable. 

Brown is 30 years old now, so he may feel he’s done enough in his career. But Jason Peters is still going strong in Seattle at 41 (he’ll be 42 if they make the NFC Championship game), so Brown could still have a few seasons left in him. But if he does want to move on from the Patriots, he’ll need to continue his strong play.

Plenty of teams will be in the market for an experienced left tackle, especially one who knows what it takes to win a Super Bowl. 

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