Ceiling and floor predictions for the Patriots and Mac Jones in 2023

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

The New England Patriots are approaching a crucial 2023 season. Let's make some ceiling and floor predictions for the team and Mac Jones in 2023. I have a hard time viewing this team as playoff caliber, even if they hit their ceiling in 2023.

The roster, overall, is solid, but I worry that they do not have enough firepower at quarterback or on offense to make much progress in the conference. Defensively, I'd take the Patriots' defense up against any other unit in the AFC, but I worry that this offense could average 22-24 points per week consistently.

Mac Jones also needs to bounce back in a big way, and if he doesn't he likely will not be the franchise QB for the team going forward.

What could the Patriots' ceiling and floor predictions be in 2023?

Well, the team has one of the toughest schedules in the entire NFL. Let's break it up by conference to make it easier to look at.

AFC Opponents

  1. Miami Dolphins
  2. New York Jets
  3. Las Vegas Raiders
  4. Buffalo Bills
  5. Miami Dolphins
  6. Indianapolis Colts
  7. Los Angeles Chargers
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers
  9. Kansas City Chiefs
  10. Denver Broncos
  11. Buffalo Bills
  12. New York Jets

NFC Opponents

  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. Dallas Cowboys
  3. New Orleans Saints
  4. Washington Commanders
  5. New York Giants

I'm not sure the Patriots would win four games if they bottomed out and hit their floor, honestly. In most scenarios, I can see a win against the Raiders, Colts, and Chargers. The reason I picked the Chargers as a win in most scenarios is because of their subpar coaching and their mostly quiet offseason.

They didn't really do a ton to improve their roster, and I do not trust Brandon Staley with much. I think the Pats could easily defeat LA. I also think the Pats are better than the Raiders and Colts for obvious reasons, but a 3-9 conference record would not surprise me.

Fortunately, their NFC slate of games are not outrageously tough. I could see wins against the Saints, Commanders, and Giants. The matchup against the Giants does worry me a bit as they did breakout a bit in 2022 and should be a better team. They might be a better coached team than New England and might give them a tough run for their money.

But if the Pats do bottom out and hit their floor, I think we're looking at a 4-13 or 5-12 record. I don't see a ton of very winnable games on the roster. In that case, I think Mac Jones plays similarly to his rookie season--good, but not great. I think he'd then throw around 20-22 touchdowns, 8-12 interceptions. He'd play better than he did in 2022 but I don't think he'd come close to shutting the door on the QB uncertainty.

Now, if the Patriots hit their ceiling, that's a different story. In that case, the offense ends up playing as well as it did in 2021 and the defense is its normal, solid unit. I could see the Patriots going 4-1 in their five NFC games without a doubt. They probably lose their one NFC contest against the Eagles or Cowboys, but the other games could be rather winnable.

The AFC slate of games is still very tough, but if the Pats are playing as well as we hope, games against the Raiders, Colts, Chargers, Steelers, and Broncos all become a true coin flip. They'd also likely win at least two division games, perhaps taking down the Dolphins and/or Jets at home.

Just adding some of these potential wins up, I could see the Patriots hitting 10 wins again if they hit their ceiling. Going 4-1 in the NFC would be a huge help, so they'd really only have to go 5-7 or 6-6 in the AFC to make the playoffs.

Wins against the Raiders, Colts, Chargers, Steelers, Broncos, and perhaps the Jets at home aren't unrealistic. That would put them at 10 wins for the 2023 season. If the Pats did hit 10 wins, I think Mac Jones is approaching 30 touchdown passes. He probably finishes between 26-30 touchdown passes and 7-11 interceptions.

What do you think? Does this seem like a realistic ceiling and floor for the team in 2023?