With the 2023 NFL preseason in the books, the New England Patriots now turn their attention to the regular season, but not before that final 53-man roster is in shape. Roster cuts are getting going, and the initial depth chart should be out before we know it.
Preseason doesn't matter much, but what we saw from the Patriots during that time was mostly underwhelming.
The rest of the AFC East, though, looks like it should be shaping up to be a tough division overall. Is New England in trouble?
Short answer: yes.
But, let's look at where the entire division stands now that preseason is finished.
4. New England Patriots
The best thing New England has going for them is on defense, where they finished 8th overall in 2022. The Patriots are especially good against the run, allowing just 105.5 yards per game last season. If they can take a step forward against the pass, that unit could make an even higher jump into the top five. Adding first-round pick Christian Gonzalez should sure help that cause.
Offensively, it's all on the shoulders of Mac Jones. The Patriots have decent options in terms of weaponry, whether we're talking wide receiver, tight end or running back. But, Jones has to take a step this year. If he doesn't, then the Patriots are firmly planted as the worst team in this division, solely because the rest of the division is packed with firepower on offense.
Will Bill Belichick prove he has not been passed by just yet? Or, will the Patriots continue to sit fourth amongst their divisional foes?