Three games that can make or break the Patriots' season

Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots
Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots / Maddie Malhotra/GettyImages

One week ago the 2023 NFL regular season schedule was released. As always there were some eye opening matchups, especially for the New England Patriots. They immediately open with a tall task in playing the Philadelphia Eagles. Thankfully for New England, going up against the reigning NFC champions comes early. However, there are some games that could make or break their season in regards to qualifying for the playoffs this season. In fact, here are three games that can make or break the Patriots season.

Week Four: Patriots @ Cowboys

In week four the Patriots will travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. This game by could be big. Leading up to week four the Patriots have three tough games against the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets. There is a chance the Patriots could staring at a winless start to the season heading into Dallas. Regardless of their record, this is a must win game.

Why is this a must win game? Other than the aforementioned reason, the Patriots need to have a strong start with road games. Last season the Patriots were 4-5 on the road, where three of those five losses were one score games. The Patriots need to close out games on the road. A strong start and finish to this early season test in Dallas will determine what kind of team New England will be on the road this season.

As for the players themselves, Mac Jones is in a prove it season. If Jones can succeed against an overall solid defense in the Dallas Cowboys, the Patriots offense should not face problems on the road for the most part. The defensive unit will have to find a way to stop Dak Presscott and that air raid attack the Dallas offense brings. Prescott is usually hot to start the season so the defense will have their work cut out for them trying to stop Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks and Tony Pollard on the ground.

Week Seven: Bills @ Patriots

This is a key division game. The Patriots need to steal this game from Buffalo at home. By week seven the Patriots have already played the Dolphins and Jets. No matter what, it's important to get divisional wins. With a trip to Miami looming the following week, a place where the Patriots traditionally struggle in, a win would keep things somewhat a float for New England.

Last season, Bills quarterback Josh Allen struggled with turning the ball over. With a young secondary and a good pass rush the Patriots can disrupt Allen if they can contain him in the pocket. Bill Belichick defenses have struggled against mobile quarterbacks, but, the defense needs to be playing nearly flawless against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.

As for the offense, if the offensive line can give Mac Jones time to throw the ball the Patriots do stand a chance in pulling the home upset. With receivers like Kendrick Bourne, JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight ends Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki, Jones has options for who he should throw to. It all matters on the offensive line and if they can hold up the pass rush lead by Von Miller and Gregory Rousseau.

Week Thirteen: Chargers @ Patriots

For the first time since the divisional round in 2019 the Chargers come to Foxboro. The Patriots have the advantage with this game being played in December, which means it's going to be cold. The Chargers are expected to be one of the better teams in the AFC. If New England is hanging around that .500 winning percentage this game could be one of the final deciding factors for their chances of making the postseason.

Justin Herbert has struggled against the Patriots. In two games against New England, Herbert has thrown two touchdowns and four interceptions. He has also been sacked six times and overall has a quarterback rating of 52.8. In other words, the defense should have a field day as Herbert is yet to figure out how to dominate against the Patriots.

The offense will have one problem... maybe. J.C. Jackson, former Patriots cornerback is now entering his second season with the Chargers. He has dubbed this matchup a revenge game. Jackson will want to make his presence known. Either JuJu or Kendrick Bourne will have to go up against him throughout the game. With this game being one of the last games of the season all cylinder's need to be clicking for the New England offense. Also, stopping Joey Bosa is key but that's easier said than done.