Four games of the 2023 NFL season are left, and with the Patriots eliminated from playoff contention, this is the part of the season where winning games is detrimental to the team’s future. But that might not be a problem. As the race for the second overall pick in the draft heats up, how will the remainder of the season go in New England?
The Week 14 win showed that it is much more effective when the offense has a focal point. But when Rhamondre Stevenson returns, Bill O’Brien will be back to not knowing who his feature back really is. The win against the Steelers means Caleb Williams is all but certain to be a Bear in 2023. And he’s the only player in the draft who could save a franchise.
With the Patriots' record for developing wide receivers, they could ruin Marvin Harrison Jr., Especially if Bailey Zappe is constantly checking down to his running backs.
Week 15: Patriots vs. Chiefs
Well, the next four opponents are all battling for a playoff spot and, unlike the Patriots, don’t have their best players missing through injury (well, one of them does). The next game is at home and against the Chiefs. Usually, playing the Chiefs in December would be a daunting prospect for any team, let alone one starting their backup quarterback. But KC has only won once since they returned from Germany. They’ve actually lost four of their last six!
Kansas City’s receivers seem to be unable to catch the ball. And if Isiah Pacheco does play, it looks like he’ll be carrying a shoulder injury. The Chiefs have scored an average of 19 points per game in their last six games, while they’ve conceded an average of 20.5.
That might seem like good news for the Patriots, but their offense averages 11.3 points in their last six games. The only thing you can definitely say about this game is that it will be ugly. It’s hard to see a Patriots win. The New England offense had an inadvertent boost last week because three of the Steelers linebackers were missing.
However, the Chiefs have just gotten Nick Bolton back, so this will be a more challenging task for Bailey Zappe.