5 New England Patriots players who need to have a bounce-back season in 2023

  • Can Kendrick Bourne revert to his 2021 season?
  • Will Mac Jones show why he is the quarterback of the future in New England?
  • How will Hunter Henry become a dominant fixture of the offense again?
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Mac Jones

2022 stats:

  • 288/442 for 65% completion
  • 14 TDs - 11 INTs
  • 2,997 passing yards

The most obvious name on this list is clearly Mac Jones.

After completing a standout rookie season, Jones wasn't exactly set up for success come year two. Other than having to go through an immediate dramatic change from losing Josh McDaniels as the offensive coordinator, he had to learn a new offense from a man put into the play-calling position he wasn't qualified for.

The experiment of Matt Patricia impacted the offense in totality but seemed to harm Jones' confidence and development the most. From the lack of creativity in game planning and the apparent lack of trust in the quarterback's skillset to a lack of communication with the offensive players, leading to tension in the locker room, Patricia's presence was an all-time mistake by Bill Belichick from the very beginning.

On top of all the struggles Jones was dealing with from Patricia, there was also the addition of Joe Judge as the quarterback's coach, who he reportedly butt heads with all season long. Judge had just returned to New England after a failed stint as the Giants' head coach, and despite his clear ineptitude in developing Daniel Jones, he was still put into the position to coach Jones in just his second season.

Then came his high ankle sprain in week four, weakening Jones' chances of a good season even more.

He ended the 2022 season with 288/442 completions (65%), 2,997 yards, 14 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a 6-8 record for the games he started. He was sacked 34 times, six more than just a season before, and all of this raised questions about his future as the Patriots' quarterback.

Now that Patricia is gone and Judge has been moved away from the offense, Jones has looked like a completely different player since the start of the offseason program this spring. The return of Bill O'Brien as the offensive coordinator has already proven to be an overall positive change, especially regarding his relationship with Jones specifically.

Although all we've seen is how the quarterback has performed during training camp and limited snaps in preseason, all signs point to the 2023 season will be a bounce-back year for Jones. He appears to have all the tools in his arsenal to revert to his 2021 performance, and hopefully, he can prove his value to the team throughout the upcoming 18-week season.