New England Patriots: Realistic expectations for Mac Jones in 2023

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

Third year quarterback Mac Jones has a ton to prove in 2023. What are the most realistic expectations for him in a huge season? Many of us expected Jones to breakout in 2022 after a very promising rookie season, but that obviously was not the case.

Matt Patricia calling the plays on offense proved to not work out at all, and Jones looked like a lost puppy. With additions of Mike Gesicki, James Robinson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Bill O'Brien, the Patriots' offense does look like a normal unit again

However, with several new players and a new offensive system being installed, and also considering Mac Jones' limitations, what can we reasonably expect from him in 2023? Well, most of us do like looking a statistics and numbers, so we can try to come up with a stat line for Jones in 2023.

One thing that I think will stick out about the Patriots is them I believe becoming a run-first team. Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2022 on 5.0 yards per carry and looks poised to breakout in 2023.

Adding James Robinson, a former 1,000 yard rusher himself, will also be a huge boost. Given that Jones simply wasn't good in 2022, I don't think O'Brien is going to ask him to do a lot initially, so I think we'll see him operate more as a game manager until he can prove he can do more.

Also, the Patriots' running backs are stronger than their pass catchers in my opinion. There's also the Patriots having one of the toughest schedules in the entire NFL this year. They play a slew of elite defenses, and their six divisional games could all end up being top 10 units on D.

This obviously isn't going to benefit Jones, so I am not sure we're going to see him put up appreciably better numbers than what he did during his rookie season. I bet Jones hovers somewhere between 20-26 touchdowns in 2023 but does complete a high percentage of his passes, somewhere likely in the high 60s.

One thing that I'm also expecting is Jones not throwing for a ton of interceptions. I bet he keeps his INT total anywhere from 5-10. I think given his accuracy and likely not being asked to do much within the offense, he won't turn the ball over.

Well, how would we feel if Mac Jones tossed 23 touchdowns on seven interceptions in 2023? Would that be good enough to help the offense get back to their previous form? Would that be enough to convince the organization that he's the long-term answer?