The Patriots have an interesting route to the end of their season. They start with visiting the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve, which may end up being a far better game than it looked like it would be earlier this season. It was being referred to as the "tank bowl," as both teams were playing poorly and staring down the path of playing for a higher draft pick.
Fortunately for Denver, that fate has seemingly turned around, but not for the Patriots.
They then head to Buffalo to attempt to sweep the Bills this season, even if it doesn't prompt much optimism of coming to fruition. And they finish the year with a visiting Jets team, who are looking like a bigger mess of a team than the Patriots do.
It seemed like the only game the team could win heading into the offseason, even with the wrench of a possible Aaron Rodgers return thrown in over the last two weeks. But the quarterback squashed those rumors while appearing on the "Pat McAfee Show" Tuesday, revealing he feels like he is still a few weeks out from being 100% ready to return to the field.
It's a dramatic shift in attitude from Rodgers, who had been seen practicing on the field last week and teasing his comeback throughout his recovery.
It's why he had allegedly opted for a quick fix surgery to repair his torn Achilles, but it seems like a much smarter idea not to rush back, especially when the Jets season is not going anywhere special this year.
It's a bit of good news for the Patriots if they are still hoping to get a last-second win in 2023, even though most fans would be hoping for the opposite to keep their high draft pick hopes alive. A Rodgers-less Jets is more capable of being beaten, which is something that Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft will almost definitely want to do.