4 bold predictions for the New England Patriots 2023 season

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones should have a lot to smile about this season.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones should have a lot to smile about this season. / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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The Patriots finish second in the AFC East and will be in the Wild Card hunt

The 2022 New England Patriots lost four games by one score. They lost the season finale by 12 because special teams allowed not one but two kickoff returns for touchdowns. The Green Bay Packers needed overtime to beat the Patriots.

During a potential game-winning drive, Rhamondre Stevenson coughed up the ball at the Cincinnati Bengals’ eight-yard line. And we can’t forget what happened against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Just one more win would have tied the Patriots with the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars, with tiebreakers determining New England being on the outside looking in.

Yes, it’s a tougher schedule than last year, but don’t count out a Belichick-coached Patriots team.

Start with having a real offensive coordinator. Bill O’Brien is a quantum leap better than Matt Patricia. A great defense last year has the pieces to be better with enhancements at all three levels, with a legit number-one cornerback the headliner. And special teams was addressed in free agency and through the draft.

Tougher schedule? Sure, but there is some hype. Looking within the division, Rodgers is an upgrade over Zach Wilson, but he isn’t the MVP Rodgers we knew from the Packers. I’m still not buying Tua Tagovailoa as a franchise quarterback. The Buffalo Bills are all that, but New England played them close in the season finale. Splitting the division is very possible, with a winning record within reach.

Obviously, outside the division isn’t a cakewalk, but Belichick usually finds ways to win games the Patriots shouldn’t. Most thought New England had no chance against the Packers or Bengals last season. With a better team, upsetting the Los Angeles Chargers is very possible.

All the Patriots need is one more win than last year to be a borderline playoff team. 9-8, or even 10-7, is very possible for this team.