The New England Patriots have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL in 2023, and they'll get a taste of that in Week 1 when they face the Philadelphia Eagles. This honestly already feels like a must-win game for the Patriots in Week 1. The Eagles come to town and bring back virtually all of their starters from the 2022 season where they nearly bested the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
Philly did lose both of their offensive and defensive coordinators to head coaching jobs, but outside of that, Eagles' GM Howie Roseman somehow improved his roster in free agency and in the 2023 NFL Draft, re-signing players like Darius Slay and James Bradberry and drafting studs like Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith.
Even though the Patriots are overmatched in most all positions in this game, there are some reasons to believe that they can win this Week 1 game.
3 reasons why the Patriots can beat the Eagles in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season
1. An Eagles' Super Bowl hangover is possible
There are many instances of teams who have won or made it to the Super Bowl in one year only to lay an egg in the following season. The Carolina Panthers got their butts handed to them in Super Bowl 50 by the Denver Broncos and won just six games in the following season. The Broncos won nine games but missed the playoffs in that season.
The Eagles do have some young players and coaches in notable spots, so I do not think a Super Bowl hangover is out of the question. Perhaps the Patriots can gain an edge because of the pressure the Eagles may have to best their 2022 season.
2. The New England Patriots play this game at home
Even though the New England Patriots have been an average football team over the last three years, the fans are still arguably the best in the NFL, and you darn well know that this crowd is going to be fired up. It's not out of the question to think that the crowd is going to make life a bit hard for the Eagles. In fact, seeing as the Patriots are much less talented than the Eagles, the crowd getting involved early and often will be crucial if it gives the Pats even a small advantage.
3. Upsets, "trap games," are possible and happen often
Every year in the NFL, and honestly most weeks, there is typically an upset somewhere. Trap game is another term that is thrown around in this same vein. It's not crazy to think that a veteran coaching staff with Bill Belichick can scheme up a perfect gameplan to take down the Eagles. I'm not sure most in the NFL world are predicting the Patriots to win this one, but upsets happen all the time.
Do I truly think the Patriots win this game? No, I don't, but that doesn't mean they can't take advantage of this being a potential trap game for the Eagles.