Patriots: Three guaranteed wins in the 2023 season

Who can the Patriots beat in 2023?
Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots special teams Marcus Jones (25)
Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots special teams Marcus Jones (25) / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The regular season is just weeks away. Soon not only will the Patriots have a finalized 53-man roster, but they'll also be preparing to host the Philadelphia Eagles to start the season. This is not an easy schedule for New England. But some games are easier than others.

Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL... but for the Patriots, there are three guaranteed wins in the 2023 season.

Week 14: at Pittsburgh Steelers

That's right. The first guaranteed win isn't until late in the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, the Patriots have games against the Washington Commanders and the Las Vegas Raiders before week fourteen, but those games are almost too guaranteed. Why is this matchup against the Steelers a guaranteed win? The sophomore slump.

It's no secret the sophomore slump exists in any sport. Last year Mac Jones experienced a sophomore slump to the point that some Patriots fans are questioning if he is the future quarterback in New England. The same could be asked about Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett. The Steelers were given a golden opportunity last year in the draft to pick either Kenny Pickett or Malik Willis. It's too early to tell if they made the right choice, but an early indication, for now, is that they made the right choice in Pickett.

Last season the Steelers went 9-8, finishing third in the AFC North, missing the playoffs. Initially, Mitch Trubisky won the starting job, but unsurprisingly Trubisky quickly fell off, and Pickett took over the starting role in week four last season. Pickett had an unimpressive season from that point on, throwing for just seven touchdowns and nine interceptions while appearing in thirteen games.

Pickett's number-one receiver is fellow second-year player George Pickens. But, just like Pickett, Pickens also had a quiet rookie year outside of any acrobatic catches he made. Now, insert the Patriots improved defense from a year ago when these two teams met, the same result will happen. A Patriots victory. Pickett will have a hard time staying upright against a pass rush led by Matthew Judon, plus the Patriots have one of the best secondaries in the league, so Pickett will have a hard time moving the ball. This is a crucial and most important guaranteed win for New England.

Week 16: at Denver Broncos

Merry Christmas to all Patriots fans as the Patriots will beat the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve. The Broncos were the most overhyped team last season with the addition of Russell Wilson at quarterback. First-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett dropped the ball in Denver just like the Broncos receivers did 32 times.

Wilson will have to play another season without wide receiver Tim Patrick as he tore his achilles early on in training camp this season. Plus, Courtland Sutton has not been the receiver the Broncos thought he would be, leaving Jerry Jeudy and a supporting cast of receivers. The only other bright spot on the Denver offense is Javonte Williams returns after tearing his ACL and LCL last season.

The Denver defense hasn't been the same since Von Miller was traded. Pat Surtain II and Randy Gregory are the only two players that the New England offense has to look out for as well. So yes, if the Patriots' offense can contain Randy Gregory and keep the ball away from Pat Surtain II, they will easily breeze by the Denver defense.

Week 18: vs New York Jets

The Jets have loaded up on talent this offseason that quarterback Aaron Rodgers headlines. Recently, the Jets added Dalvin Cook at running back. The Patriots don't lose to the Jets when they play at Gillette Stadium. In fact, the last time the Jets won in Foxboro dates back to 2010 when the Jets knocked out the Patriots in the wild-card round. Since then, it's been raining losses for the Jets.

Currently, the Jets are projected by many to make the playoffs and possibly win the AFC East. Many playoff scenarios could be in play for this matchup. The Jets could possibly have a clinched playoff berth or even have won the division. Maybe, they could also be fighting for a spot still. If the Jets already have a secured playoff game, they might not even try and rest their starters in this game.

If the Jets have to try in this game, the Patriots will also be doing everything they can to play spoiler for the Jets, or they could even be fighting for a playoff spot themselves. Regardless, New England doesn't lose at home to the Jets. Just like how traveling to Miami is a guaranteed loss for the Patriots, the Jets coming to Foxboro is always a guaranteed win.