QB Mac Jones already has a huge test in the most important year of his football career

New England Patriots v Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots v Green Bay Packers / John Fisher/GettyImages

Mac Jones may never have a more important year in his football career than in 2023 with the New England Patriots, and he already has a massive test. I think Week 1 will be a great indicator of what Mac Jones we will get this year. I do think it's very possible for Jones to have an elite day through the air but for the Patriots to still lose.

I don't think it's possible for Jones to play poorly and for the Patriots to win, though. The team just doesn't have that kind of infrastructure in place to win a ton of games if their QB is not at his near-best. Well, you're up, Mac Jones. The 2023 NFL season begins the most important year of your football career, and you're already faced with arguably the best defense in the NFL.

The Eagles' defense has elite playmakers at all three levels and had a whopping four players with double-digit sacks in 2022. The Patriots' offensive line has already taken a hit, too. Projected starting right tackle Riley Reiff was recently put on injured reserve, so he's going to be out for the first four games, at least.

This leaves the right side of the Patriots' OL pretty vulnerable at this point, unless they'd consider moving stud OL Mike Onwenu to RT for the time being. In fact, I think that's what they should do permanently and consider signing someone like Dalton Risner to eventually fill in at RG.

A hypothetical offensive line of Trent Brown / Cole Strange / David Andrews / Dalton Risner / Mike Onwenu might be able to be very good. Anyway, the New England Patriots have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL this year, and there really couldn't be more pressure on Mac Jones. He'll likely be evaluated under a microscope this year, and I do think if he can play well this year considering the tough slate of opponents, the Patriots might have their guy going forward.