A preview of the New England Patriots' primetime games in 2023
The New England Patriots have four primetime games this season one in week 2 and and then three straight from weeks 14-16.
I am going to give you a way too early look at the primetime games with how I think the games might be played and end up giving my predictions on who wins the games.
Week 2: vs Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football
The Patriot's first primetime game of the season is in week two against the Miami Dolphins.
The biggest question about this game is how Tua will look this season. If the Dolphins have a healthy Tua, they are an incredibly tough team to beat, but if that's not the case, they are a beatable team. Of course, I always wish for players to have good health, so I will assume that Tua is healthy and at full strength for this matchup.
The Dolphins added Jalen Ramsey this offseason to help with the secondary, and passing against the Dolphins will be a challenging task.
On offense, the Patriots will need to be able to run the ball, chew the clock, and keep possession for as long as possible. Pair a good running attack with intermediate passing off of play action over the middle of the field to keep the time of possession in the Patriots favor.
On defense, the Patriots need to be ready for a lot of PROs from the Dolphins. The Dolphins want to pass a lot and utilize the speed of their receivers to let Tua make accurate throws from the pocket.
The key to this game is limiting the Dolphins' big plays through the air, and the Pats can do that by possessing the ball for long stretches and putting together long drives that result in points more often than they don't.
I believe the Pats will be able to run the ball on the Dolphins and do enough on defense to limit big plays. Combine that with the fact that it is a home game for the Patriots, and they will squeak out a win in Week 2.
Week 14: @ Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football
The next primetime game for the Patriots is at the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 14.
The Steelers and Pats seem similar to me; both rely primarily on their defenses and will probably be run-heavy teams on offense.
The Pats will need to rely on the quick passing game and lots of draw plays in the run game to neutralize the outstanding Steelers' pass rush. Therefore, this game will come down to which team makes the fewest mistakes and wins in the minor aspects.
The Patriots were not a disciplined team last season and stunk it up in the small aspects of the game, so I think Belichick will be on the Pats not to repeat that in 2023. Instead, I think the Patriots will play a smart game, not make mistakes, and do just enough to get a road victory.
Week 15 vs. Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football
The next primetime game is a Monday Night Football Showdown against the defending Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs.
In order to win this game, the Patriots will need to play a very similar style to week 2 against the Dolphins.
They need to keep the ball out of Mahomes' hands to limit the Chiefs scoring chances. Even if the Pats run the ball well and play really good defense, I think the Chiefs are just too talented and will win this game.
Week 16: @ Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football
The last primetime game of the season for the Patriots is in week 16 at the Denver Broncos.
As he has aged, Russell Wilson has become limited in his abilities, and I believe Bill will be able to come up with a game plan to play to Wilson's weakness and keep the Broncos' offense stagnant during this game.
On the offensive side of the ball, it is again going to come down to successfully running the ball and then having a few chunk plays through the air. I think the Pats will be able to get the job done on the road and secure the win.
Overall I believe the Patriots will go 3-1 in their primetime games this season which will help them significantly in their attempt to reach the playoffs this season.