Week 6: @ Las Vegas Raiders
Thinking about the Patriots playing the Raiders in Las Vegas again this soon after the nightmare game of last season is not for the weak-hearted.
Both teams look pretty different than the last time they met, but the Raiders are still considered the Patriots West, as they added even more former New Englanders to their roster this offseason. Former Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will now lead their offense with Brian Hoyer as his backup, and Jakobi Meyers will be vying for the WR2 spot under Davante Adams.
Like other teams the Patriots will face, Vegas picked up some good talent in the draft this year with top-ranked tight end Michael Mayer and EDGE Tyree Wilson. Mac Jones and the offensive line will have their hands even more full now with Wilson joining Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, but this feels like a winnable game for New England regardless.
Week 7: vs Buffalo Bills
Last season, the Patriots were fortunate not to play Buffalo for the first time until week 13, giving them ample time to get settled into the season and establish themselves before playing their toughest divisional opponent. Although they lost both times in 2022, New England's offense and defense are better now than they were, and they actually had a much closer game in week 18 than most would expect.
With an improved run game, more weapons on offense and defense, and substantial upgrades made to special teams, it seems plausible the Patriots could get one win against the Bills next season, with it likely coming from the one played at Gillette.