New England Patriots: 2023 rookies expected to breakout more next season

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots
Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
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Christian Gonzalez 

It might be a damning indictment that the Patriots’ most impactful rookie was the one who only played 205 snaps. As the first-round pick, Gonzalez should have been the best first-year player in New England, and for three and a bit games, he was.  

Gonzalez recorded the Patriots’ first sack of the 2023 season and he intercepted a pass meant for Tyreek Hill in his second game of the year. Comparing statistics when Gonzalez played so few games (and suffered his injury in the same game as Matt Judon) is almost completely pointless.

But in the three games the rookie out of Oregon played, the Patriots conceded an average of 19.7 points per game. Since his injury, the average has gone up to 21.8 points per game.

Obviously, that isn’t a huge amount, but with an offense that averages just 13.3 points per game, every little bit helps. 

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