The New England Patriots finished last season with a poor 8-9 record that left a sour taste in fans' mouths. The pessimistic/negative fans out there feel that not much will change with the Patriots in 2023 because most of the team’s DNA is still in place. The negative fans have a point, as there are reasons to be pessimistic about the Patriots in 2023.
Here are three reasons why Patriots fans should feel pessimistic about the 2023 season.
The uncertainty of Mac Jones
Mac Jones is entering the third season of his NFL career, and it will be the most important one so far. With a potential contract extension looming, the pressure will be on Jones to perform at a high level. This is worrisome because you don’t know what to expect from Jones.
After a solid rookie season where he made the Pro Bowl and led the Patriots to the playoffs, Jones fell on his face in his second season. Jones's lowest point of the season was when he was replaced by Bailey Zappe on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears. The up-and-down play from Jones should concern Patriots fans.
The constant failures in the clutch
The Patriots have been arguably the worst team in the NFL in clutch moments and close games since the end of the Tom Brady era. Over the last two seasons, the Patriots have ultimately cradled in big moments, and it has cost them dearly.
The moments that stick out the most over the last two seasons include Jakobi Meyers throwing the game away against the Las Vegas Raiders, Rhamondre Stevenson fumbling against the Bengals, and the team’s inability to put together a winning drive against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All of these moments should concern Patriots fans because the makeup of the team is still the same.
Ultimately, there is no guarantee that the Patriots will be better in close games in 2023.
The schedule is extremely tough
Despite finishing third in the AFC East standings in 2022, the Patriots have the hardest schedule in 2023. Although it seems unfair, the Patriots will have to deal with adversity next season.
With a tough start to the season with the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins, the Patriots will have their work cut out for them. I think it’s fair for Patriots fans to question if this team can handle a tough schedule.