3 significant questions for the New England Patriots' offense in 2023

The New England Patriots offense is under a ton of pressure in 2023. Will they come through?
New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders
New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders / Michael Owens/GettyImages

The New England Patriots' offense has a bit of a new look ahead of the NFL season, but there are still some burning questions about the unit that need to be answered at some point. If the Patriots' offense ends up being anything close to how they were in 2021, this just might be a playoff team.

Out is Matt Patricia, and in comes Bill O'Brien, and actual offensive mind. New faces at pass catcher like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mike Gesicki, Kayshon Boutte, and Demario Douglas could all end up having huge roles in the offense this year. On paper, the unit isn't terrible, but I'd stop short of calling them a good unit right now.

There are a few questions that this unit needs to answer head of the 2023 NFL season.

3 significant questions for the New England Patriots' offense in 2023

1. Does the offensive line hold up, especially at tackle?

The New England Patriots' offensive line was quite poor last year. They have a new face in the starting lineup as Riley Reiff looks to hold down the right tackle spot with Trent Brown at left tackle. The interior of Cole Strange, David Andrews, and Mike Onwenu is as good as any in the NFL, so I don't think the iOL should be much of a concern at all.

The tackle situation worries be a bit, but with stronger coaching, the OL as a whole should be average, hopefully. The Patriots have always seemed to have above-average offensive lines, so perhaps they'll get back on track here in 2023.

2. Who ends up being Mac Jones' go-to target on offense?

The Patriots have a lot of good on offense but barely any great. Their WR core does appear to be five players deep and their duo of tight ends is one of the best in the NFL. However, it's hard for me to look at any of the pass catchers on offense and see one who can be the go-to target.

Perhaps it's one of the veterans like Kendrick Bourne or DeVante Parker, or perhaps it's one of the younger guys in Kayshon Boutte or Demario Douglas. It's really hard to tell at this point and I am a bit concerned that Mac Jones won't have that guy to rely on in 2023.

3. Was 2022 just an outlier for Mac Jones?

I think Bailey Zappe looking better than Mac Jones in 2022 is a bad thing, but at the same time, would Mac Jones really play as well as he did in 2021 only to regress in 2022? Eh, that might be hard to buy. Honestly, 2022 should just be an outlier for Mac Jones, but we won't know until we actually see the on-field product. The hope is that Mac Jones can just forget about 2022 and pick up where he left off in 2021 where many of us thought the Patriots had found their next franchise QB.