I think it's hard to have trap games if you're not a good team, but do the Patriots have any on their 2023 schedule? The sad part is that I think the Patriots are a team who can play spoiler, as in, the "trap" team in the trap game.
That isn't good. The Pats don't look like they'll be able to compete with the top teams in the AFC even though they seemed to have had a good offseason. I don't see them finishing anything but last in the AFC East unless Mac Jones has a major turnaround.
The AFC is deep. The Patriots might be the 10-12th best team in the conference, and I think that could be being generous. Maybe I'm wrong, though. They did manage to win eight games in 2022 with a pathetically bad offense.
Perhaps all it'll take in 2023 is a slightly improved offense for the team to win another game or to. The NFL schedule release was on May 11th, so we know now when the Pats will play their games. With this new information known, what kind of trap games, if any, does the team have on their schedule?
Potential trap games on the Patriots' 2023 schedule
Week 9: Washington Commanders
The Patriots first easier matchup of the season is arguably the Washington Commanders, an opponent they get to play at home in week nine. This game comes after two straight divisional games against the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins.
What I also find interesting is that the Patriots have a whopping four of their six divisional games before their bye week. It's likely that the team is going to kick it into high-gear to pile up some wins before their bye week, especially since they're having a good bit of divisional games.
Imagine they split their four divisional contests, and perhaps in week eight they're able to beat the Dolphins in Miami. With their bye week approaching and two apparently winnable games on their schedule against the Commanders and Colts, the week nine game feels like a trap game to me.
They'll be riding the high from their back to back AFC East games. Hopefully they don't fall into the trap and lose to a poorly coached Commanders' team.