The wait is nearly over. Finally, the Patriots will begin to play meaningful football. The 2023 season is upon us.
But how will the New England Patriots fare this season?
What record will the Patriots finish with?
Week 1: vs Eagles
The defending NFC Champions come to Foxboro to kick off the season. The Eagles nearly came away as champions. On top of that, not only are the Eagles favored to return to the Super Bowl, but they also improved their defense.
Philadelphia added Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith from Georgia, the current defending College Football Playoff champions. It's safe to say the New England offense will have their work cut out to start the season.
As for the Patriots, the major concern is the offensive line. Throughout the preseason, the offensive line struggled. However, the projected starting offensive line really did not see the field at all this preseason. Even the offensive starters, in general, barely saw the field.
Maybe it's wise they didn't, so the Philadelphia defense doesn't know what to expect.
It should also be mentioned that the Patriots are planning to honor Tom Brady in this game. Maybe this will provide some extra motivation as the GOAT returns home.
Overall, this game will result in a bad loss for the Patriots as they will start the season 0-1.
Week 2: vs Dolphins (SNF)
The first divisional game for the Patriots comes against a Miami Dolphins team capable of dethroning the Buffalo Bills as AFC East champions. The offense is one of the best in the NFL, so once again, the Patriots' defense will have their hands full.
However, the offense will bounce back for the Patriots. The Dolphins do not have Jalen Ramsey, as he will be out for some time with an injury. Mac Jones will be more comfortable in the pocket, and the offense line will hold off the Dolphins' pass rush led by Bradley Chubb.
The Patriots win this game to get their first win of the season to even their record at 1-1.
Back to back losses in weeks 3 & 4
After a big Sunday night football win, the Patriots will drop their next two against the Jets in week three and the Cowboys in week four. These two games are the first two road games of the season.
Aaron Rodgers and the Jets' offense will explode for the first time in their season. The same goes for the Dallas Cowboys offense. The Patriots' offense will struggle, making it look like the week two victory over Miami was a fluke.
The Patriots record will drop to 1-3 after four weeks, causing uproar in the media.
Back to back wins following back to back losses
In week five, the Patriots host the New Orleans Saints; in week six, the Patriots are on the road to Las Vegas, taking on the Raiders.
Derek Carr will struggle against the Patriots' defense, who must prove something after back-to-back losses. Alvin Kamara will only be playing in his second game coming off of a suspension, so there's a possibility of some rust.
As for Vegas, this is a revenge game. Everyone knows how last year's matchup between the Raiders and Patriots ended. That won't happen again.
The Raiders look like they will be a bottom-five team in the NFL this season, especially now with Chandler Jones voicing how unhappy he is with the organization. The obvious thing the Patriots must do is stop Josh Jacobs and Davante Adams. Even if the defense can stop one of them, the Patriots' defense will easily disrupt Jimmy Garoppolo's day.
The Patriots' offense will have no issues in this game against a weak Raiders defense outside of Maxx Crosby.
After these wins, the Patriots sit at 3-3 with two divisional games looming.
No, the Patriots will not be wearing their throwback blue uniforms that Drew Bledsoe rocked when he first entered the NFL.
The following two games come against the Bills at home and Miami on the road. The Patriots have not had an answer for Josh Allen and the Bills in general over the last few years, and Miami has been an automatic loss on the road. Plus, they'll be looking for revenge from week two.
These two weeks will be a disaster for the Patriots.
The Patriots will drop to 3-5 developing a pattern of losing two, winning two and then losing two.
The pattern continues
Before the Patriots hit their bye week, they have two more games. Technically, these games are home games, but one is in Germany. The Patriots host the Washington Commanders in week nine before they fly to Germany for their week ten matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
Outside of Terry McLaurin and Brian Robinson Jr., the Commanders offense lacks talent. The Patriots defense will feast on a weak offense. The Patriots' offense will also feast on a weak defense the Commanders have.
Yes, the Commanders' defensive line has talent, but the Washington defense is not good outside of that.
As for the Colts, it feels like this team is the island of misfit toys. Who knows if Johnathan Taylor will be on the roster or if he'll even play? The defense has nobody memorable outside of Shaquille Leonard and DeForest Buckner. To top everything off, as well. The Colts starting quarterback is Anthony Richardson, a rookie from Florida. Belichick thrives against rookie quarterbacks.
After the Patriots put on a show in Germany and their possible blowout win against Washington, they will be sitting at 5-5 heading into their much-needed bye week.
The second half begins
Coming off of their bye week, the Patriots will head into Metlife Stadium again, but this time, they will come away with a victory against the Giants. Daniel Jones is a below-average quarterback who will go against a top NFL defense. The Patriots will easily defeat the Giants, extending their winning streak to three games, with their record at 6-5.
The Patriots return home to face the Los Angeles Chargers, a team that has been a guaranteed win for New England the past few years. However, that changes here.
Justin Herbert will finally get over the hump against Bill Belichick and lead the Chargers to a close victory over the Patriots. Joey Bosa will be too much to handle for this offensive line, and Khalil Mack will also cause problems. J.C. Jackson gets his revenge as the Patriots drop to 6-6.
Thursday night football
Finally, in week 14, the Patriots get their Thursday night football game. They travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in a game where New England must win to stay afloat for playoff contention. The Steelers are getting hyped up by many, but why? Kenny Pickett and George Pickens were mediocre at best.
Yes, the Steelers have a good defense, but if the offense can't produce, how much can the defense help?
Mac Jones will need to have one of the best if not the best game of his career. If the offensive line can protect Jones, he should be passing the ball often instead of running. If TJ Watt is contained, the Patriots offense will have little to no problems. Patrick Peterson is old and Minkah Fitzpatrick cannot cover an entire field.
As for the defense, if they rush Pickett every play, they'll have no problems handling this Pittsburgh offense. The Patriots win this game and improve their record to 7-6.
Another pattern to end the season
After losing their Monday night football matchup to Kansas City, the Patriots will be at 7-7 on the year, forming another pattern.
On Christmas Eve, the Patriots will face the Denver Broncos on Sunday night football, where they will have an easy win to improve to 8-7 before facing the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets to close the season.
Unsurprisingly, the Patriots will lose in Buffalo before heading home to end the regular season against the Jets. This final game of the year could possibly have playoff implications for the Patriots, as they will be sitting at 8-8.
The Jets haven't won against the Patriots in Foxboro since 2010. They'll have to wait another season again to win in Foxboro, as the Patriots will defend their home field to end the season at 9-8.
The most important question is whether they can make the playoffs at 9-8.
The answer is... no. They will just miss the playoffs, sitting as the eighth seed. But, still ending the year with a win and having a winning record of 9-8 is something the Patriots can go off of into the offseason!