Way Too Early 2023 Season Prediction

After free agency, draft and offensive coaching changes, how much will the 2023 Patriots improve?

  • Improve by 2 wins + (i.e., 10-7 or better) - Mac & BoB will figure some sh*t out

    Votes: 50 27.2%
  • Improve by 1 win (9-8) - got better, but so did the other teams

    Votes: 59 32.1%
  • End up the same (8-9) - treading water at best

    Votes: 28 15.2%
  • Worse by 1 game (7-10) - didn't keep pace with the rest of the AFC

    Votes: 29 15.8%
  • Worse by 2 games or more (6-11 or worse) - looking forward to the 2024 draft!

    Votes: 18 9.8%

  • Total voters
    184
  • Poll closed .

streeter88

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Prompted by @luckiestman's post on likely 2023 AFC playoff teams from another thread. I know it is way too early, but interested in the mood of SOSH in the immediate glow of post draft optimism.

EDIT: I tried to count up wins and losses a few minutes ago, and came away... not hopeful. For reference, the 2023 Patriots schedule includes:
HOME: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Chargers, Chiefs, Colts, Commanders, Eagles, Saints (note 1 home game will be in Germany)
AWAY: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Broncos, Cowboys, Giants, Raiders and Steelers

Anyway, do your thing.
 
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rodderick

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I think this team has a very narrow band of outcomes for 2023, don't see their win total oscillating above or below the 7-9 win threshold. Went with the "one game better than last year" option because I think the offense will improve significantly, but I don't think it'll be enough to overcome the harder schedule. They were incredibly fortunate with the QBs they faced last year, if you go through their wins it's kind of jarring to see the level of QB play of the teams they beat. I don't expect the offense to be such a trash fire that they'll need to face the Zach Wilsons, Skylar Thompsons, Colt McCoys and Sam Ehrlingers of the world in order to win games, but there are none of those guys on the schedule unless they get lucky with injuries.

So better offense and presumably worse defense due to the level of competition that amounts to about the same record.
 

Traut

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Prompted by @luckiestman's post on likely 2023 AFC playoff teams from another thread. I know it is way too early, but interested in the mood of SOSH in the immediate glow of post draft optimism.

EDIT: I tried to count up wins and losses a few minutes ago, and came away... not hopeful. For reference, the 2023 Patriots schedule includes:
HOME: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Chargers, Chiefs, Colts, Commanders, Eagles, Saints (note 1 home game will be in Germany)
AWAY: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Broncos, Cowboys, Giants, Raiders and Steelers

Anyway, do your thing.
Really tough schedule, division teams got better, and Mac Jones is not the answer.

Bills: (0-2)
Dolphins: (0-2)
Jets: (0-2)

Other losses:

Chiefs
Eagles

They go .500 against these teams:

Giants, Chargers, Cowboys, Steelers, Raiders, Denver

They should win against: DC, Saints, Colts

I'm giving them 6 wins. They could somehow steal a division win or one more agains the .500 group; and make it 7. Really hard to see them getting 8 or more wins.
 

lexrageorge

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I think this team has a very narrow band of outcomes for 2023, don't see their win total oscillating above or below the 7-9 win threshold. Went with the "one game better than last year" option because I think the offense will improve significantly, but I don't think it'll be enough to overcome the harder schedule. They were incredibly fortunate with the QBs they faced last year, if you go through their wins it's kind of jarring to see the level of QB play of the teams they beat. I don't expect the offense to be such a trash fire that they'll need to face the Zach Wilsons, Skylar Thompsons, Colt McCoys and Sam Ehrlingers of the world in order to win games, but there are none of those guys on the schedule unless they get lucky with injuries.

So better offense and presumably worse defense due to the level of competition that amounts to about the same record.
You raise a point that adds to the narrative that Bill's assessment of the Pats roster was very different than what most posters, fans, and talk radio heads want to to believe. Yes, there are holes on offense, but there were also serious holes on the defensive side of the ball. Granted, due to injuries, the Pats probably will end facing some bad QB's during the upcoming season, but definitely do not want to count on that.

I do think there was enough retooling with both the players and coaching staff that they can indeed earn 1 more win. There were also at least 2 games that the Pats handed away (LV, Cincy, Minnesota are the prime candidates), so better execution should help offset the tougher opposition.
 

streeter88

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Really tough schedule, division teams got better, and Mac Jones is not the answer.

Bills: (0-2)
Dolphins: (0-2)
Jets: (0-2)

Other losses:

Chiefs
Eagles

They go .500 against these teams:

Giants, Chargers, Cowboys, Steelers, Raiders, Denver

They should win against: DC, Saints, Colts

I'm giving them 6 wins. They could somehow steal a division win or one more agains the .500 group; and make it 7. Really hard to see them getting 8 or more wins.
Like your logic, but thought they might hold serve at home vs Jets and Dolphins. Agree broadly with the rest.
 

rodderick

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You raise a point that adds to the narrative that Bill's assessment of the Pats roster was very different than what most posters, fans, and talk radio heads want to to believe. Yes, there are holes on offense, but there were also serious holes on the defensive side of the ball. Granted, due to injuries, the Pats probably will end facing some bad QB's during the upcoming season, but definitely do not want to count on that.

I do think there was enough retooling with both the players and coaching staff that they can indeed earn 1 more win. There were also at least 2 games that the Pats handed away (LV, Cincy, Minnesota are the prime candidates), so better execution should help offset the tougher opposition.
I think the Cincy game was a lot more a blowout loss disguised as a close game than one they let slip away, even with the Rhamondre fumble. Everything went their way in the second half, including a hail mary deflected TD on 3rd and 20. They were thoroughly outplayed in that one.
 

tims4wins

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I think this team has a very narrow band of outcomes for 2023, don't see their win total oscillating above or below the 7-9 win threshold. Went with the "one game better than last year" option because I think the offense will improve significantly, but I don't think it'll be enough to overcome the harder schedule. They were incredibly fortunate with the QBs they faced last year, if you go through their wins it's kind of jarring to see the level of QB play of the teams they beat. I don't expect the offense to be such a trash fire that they'll need to face the Zach Wilsons, Skylar Thompsons, Colt McCoys and Sam Ehrlingers of the world in order to win games, but there are none of those guys on the schedule unless they get lucky with injuries.

So better offense and presumably worse defense due to the level of competition that amounts to about the same record.
Agree with this take. Offense will be much better, defense should be on a similar level, but the harder schedule means that even with moderate improvement it might not manifest in wins.
 

lexrageorge

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I think the Cincy game was a lot more a blowout loss disguised as a close game than one they let slip away, even with the Rhamondre fumble. Everything went their way in the second half, including a hail mary deflected TD on 3rd and 20. They were thoroughly outplayed in that one.
The Pats defense stepped up in the 2nd half, as they held Cincy to 2 punts, a long FG try that missed, a pick-6, and a fumble recovery prior to Rham's fumble.
 

tims4wins

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The Pats defense stepped up in the 2nd half, as they held Cincy to 2 punts, a long FG try that missed, a pick-6, and a fumble recovery prior to Rham's fumble.
The Bengals first half went TD, TD, FG, INT, TD. I don't remember the pick, but the defense sucked out loud in the first half
 

rodderick

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Agree with this take. Offense will be much better, defense should be on a similar level, but the harder schedule means that even with moderate improvement it might not manifest in wins.
I knew their one win against a starting QB was Jared Goff, but I went back to look at the QBs I missed in my original post for their remaining two wins and they were Jacoby Brissett and Mitch Trubisky. Ooff.
 

BaseballJones

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Really tough schedule, division teams got better, and Mac Jones is not the answer.

Bills: (0-2)
Dolphins: (0-2)
Jets: (0-2)

Other losses:

Chiefs
Eagles

They go .500 against these teams:

Giants, Chargers, Cowboys, Steelers, Raiders, Denver

They should win against: DC, Saints, Colts

I'm giving them 6 wins. They could somehow steal a division win or one more agains the .500 group; and make it 7. Really hard to see them getting 8 or more wins.
Wow, winless in the division? They haven't done that since 1981. Even when they went 2-14 and 1-15 under Dick McPherson, they managed a win in the division. They're not going 0-6 against the AFC East.

But yeah, it's hard to see a 10-win season. Though keep in mind....they won 8 games last year with an objectively terrible offense, and a BUNCH of those games were right there to be had. Yes, they weren't good, which is why they didn't win them (you are what your record says you are), but it doesn't take MUCH improvement to turn those tight (woulda/coulda/shoulda) losses into wins.
 

Fishercat

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I think the range is a bit wider than others think mostly because so many teams are one injury away from being dramatically worse or better.

Arguments For a Reduction in Wins:

  • Another new coaching staff with new offensive talent, with a loss of the QB's most reliable WR is often not a great sign. There's going to be another adjustment period with Jones or Zappe to any new offensive scheme or structure as well as two new key targets. We talked for years about how some QBs were ultimately let down by these constant shifts and now we're seeing that potentially come to play.
  • This combined with the loss of Hoyer (depending on how much you believe in Coach Hoyer), Harris, Smith, and most importantly Meyers - that's varying levels of importance on the offense that they will need to fill in and there were stretches in the past few years where Harris and Meyers seemed like the only skill players who could move any kind of chains.
  • Schedule is real tough. There were some fortunate wins in there last year as well as some weak spots - Miami, Pitt, and both Jets wins were tough wins and with Rodgers in New York, you certainly can't expect the Zach Wilson gift next year. The division is as tough as it's ever been and there's not a single game on the schedule where I feel like you can ink in a win.

Arguments for an Increase in Wins:

  • There isn't really a guy on this team that, if he gets hurt, we have to pack it in and go. Zappe seems to be at least a competent backup QB, and while losing Jones, Rham, or Judon will certainly hurt a ton, there is a very solid baseline in the defense and depth on the team. I'd be genuinely surprised if the six divisional games are two vs. Rodgers, two vs. Allen, and two vs. Tua, and there's some huge drops in talent on a lot of other teams if certain players get hurt that can't be replaced - mostly at QB but also at some other skill positions.
  • For all their flaws last year, there were only four or five games where I really felt like this team didn't have a legitimate chance at outplaying the opponent - both Buffalo games, the first Miami game, the Baltimore game, and Justin Fields' coming out party. Obviously that's a problem to winning a Super Bowl, but if you believe the coaching last year was a clusterfuck (and I think it was), that should shore up a lot of those intermediary matchups. They were one positively absurd game in Oakland away from a winning season and Minnesota, Cincy, and Green Bay were all winnable games against very good teams.
  • Another year of experience. A couple years back the team just got exposed when a bunch of slow scheme players just got outran by the athletic teams in the league. The last few drafts showed a big shift in focus towards athletic players who they need to build into a scheme. We've seen some immediate dividends and another year of experience is another year for some of those guys to show up and emerge.

I hate the choices because I don't think 8-9 is really treading water with a much more difficult schedule, I want to say 8 wins feels right. They'll take a divisional game or two, probably steal a game in there, and win what they should win. But one Rodgers injury or Allen injury could shift that dramatically. I also wouldn't be shocked at 5 wins or 12 wins or anything in between to be honest. Like...beating KC would be a shock, beating Philly would be a shock, @BUF and @MIA are real tough asks...but any other game? They can win those. So much of it does hinge on how much the coaching was sandbagging the team last year (if it were), if the O-Line can show some improvement off of last year, and if BOB is the goods. The team only goes as far as Mac can get the offense, but they're in a position where if Mac or Zappe is good, they can win a lot of games. That's some hope.
 
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Justthetippett

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This stuff is really hard to project. Talent wise, they are definitely middle of the pack at best, but they can be more than the sum of their parts and injuries determines just about everything in the NFL anyways. I think 3-4 weeks into the season we'll know whether it's time to start scouring the tape of the 2024 QB class or get jazzed for a potential run at the playoffs.
 

rodderick

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I think the range is a bit wider than others think mostly because so many teams are one injury away from being dramatically worse or better.

Arguments For a Reduction in Wins:

  • Another new coaching staff with new offensive talent, with a loss of the QB's most reliable WR is often not a great sign. There's going to be another adjustment period with Jones or Zappe to any new offensive scheme or structure as well as two new key targets. We talked for years about how some QBs were ultimately let down by these constant shifts and now we're seeing that potentially come to play.
  • This combined with the loss of Hoyer (depending on how much you believe in Coach Hoyer), Harris, Smith, and most importantly Meyers - that's varying levels of importance on the offense that they will need to fill in and there were stretches in the past few years where Harris and Meyers seemed like the only skill players who could move any kind of chains.
  • Schedule is real tough. There were some fortunate wins in there last year as well as some weak spots - Miami, Pitt, and both Jets wins were tough wins and with Rodgers in New York, you certainly can't expect the Zach Wilson gift next year. The division is as tough as it's ever been and there's not a single game on the schedule where I feel like you can ink in a win.

Arguments for an Increase in Wins:

  • There isn't really a guy on this team that, if he gets hurt, we have to pack it in and go. Zappe seems to be at least a competent backup QB, and while losing Jones, Rham, or Judon will certainly hurt a ton, there is a very solid baseline in the defense and depth on the team. I'd be genuinely surprised if the six divisional games are two vs. Rodgers, two vs. Allen, and two vs. Tua, and there's some huge drops in talent on a lot of other teams if certain players get hurt that can't be replaced - mostly at QB but also at some other skill positions.
  • For all their flaws last year, there were only four or five games where I really felt like this team didn't have a legitimate chance at outplaying the opponent - both Buffalo games, the first Miami game, the Baltimore game, and Justin Fields' coming out party. Obviously that's a problem to winning a Super Bowl, but if you believe the coaching last year was a clusterfuck (and I think it was), that should shore up a lot of those intermediary matchups. They were one positively absurd game in Oakland away from a winning season and Minnesota, Cincy, and Green Bay were all winnable games against very good teams.
  • Another year of experience. A couple years back the team just got exposed when a bunch of slow scheme players just got outran by the athletic teams in the league. The last few drafts showed a big shift in focus towards athletic players who they need to build into a scheme. We've seen some immediate dividends and another year of experience is another year for some of those guys to show up and emerge.

I hate the choices because I don't think 8-9 is really treading water with a much more difficult schedule, I want to say 8 wins feels right. They'll take a divisional game or two, probably steal a game in there, and win what they should win. But one Rodgers injury or Allen injury could shift that dramatically. I also wouldn't be shocked at 5 wins or 12 wins or anything in between to be honest. Like...beating KC would be a shock, beating Philly would be a shock, @BUF and @MIA are real tough asks...but any other game? They can win those. So much of it does hinge on how much the coaching was sandbagging the team last year (if it were), if the O-Line can show some improvement off of last year, and if BOB is the goods. The team only goes as far as Mac can get the offense, but they're in a position where if Mac or Zappe is good, they can win a lot of games. That's some hope.
I think if they had a 32 year old Brady 12 wins would be hard to project with this schedule. Don't think there's any scenario in which they win 11+.
 

Devizier

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I picked 9, but it just as well could be 8.

I think Buffalo rolls them for two losses, no idea on the other games.
 

Fishercat

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I think if they had a 32 year old Brady 12 wins would be hard to project with this schedule. Don't think there's any scenario in which they win 11+.
If they had a 32 year old Tom Brady with a 17 game schedule and this roster? I think 11 is reasonable. Mac's not that so I went voted 8 with 9 possible, but I think a prime Brady would make this team exceedingly dangerous and there's not a single game I'd rule out with that kind of QB at the helm - even if I assume they'd be dogs to KC, BUF, and PHI.
 

rodderick

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If they had a 32 year old Tom Brady with a 17 game schedule and this roster? I think 11 is reasonable. Mac's not that so I went voted 8 with 9 possible, but I think a prime Brady would make this team exceedingly dangerous and there's not a single game I'd rule out with that kind of QB at the helm - even if I assume they'd be dogs to KC, BUF, and PHI.
No, I said if they had 32 year old Brady I wouldn't just pencil them in for 12 wins. Sure, they could do it, I just think it'd be far from a given. I don't think 11 with this team is reasonable at all unless Mac turns into a facsimile of Joe Burrows, which I have no reason to believe will happen.
 
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Fishercat

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No, I said if they had 32 year old Brady I wouldn't just pencil them in for 12 wins. Sure, they could do it, I just think it'd be far from a given. I don't think 11 with this team is reasonable at all unless Mac turns into a reasonable facsimile of Joe Burrows, which I have no reason to believe will happen.
And I said I would. I think this team with a 32 y/o Tom Brady is a favorite in all games except PHI, KC, and @BUF, and maybe v.BUF and @MIA in my view, that's 12 games. Mac Jones is not that, but if Mac Jones becomes Joe Burrow? This is a 11+ win team easily in my book. They have a great RB with solid depth, at least solid passcatching options, a defense that at its best is great and even not at its best is pretty good, and what should be an improved special teams issue. If you're asking if I'd lock in 11+ wins with Brady with this team I'd agree I wouldn't...but I'd think it's more likely than not that they would than they would not.

I agree I don't see Jones becoming Burrow (I like Mac but if the Pats are going to win with him, it's more of a Baltimore model with a stifling defense where he controls time of possession and scores modestly while not putting the team in bad field position spots), which is why the number is 8 and not 11 for me, but I see a playoff team with real SB aspirations if you replace Mac Jones with present day Joe Burrow or prime Tom Brady. If you don't that's just where we differ.
 

Jimbodandy

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Better offensive coaching for sure, but the team still didn't bother solving a pretty fucking obvious problem at OT. And I'm not sold that we don't have a problem at safety as well. Added playmakers at corner and edge, stayed the same at offensive skill positions. Mac will be running for his life, and we still won't be able to run the ball. But the playmakers that we added on D should help keep pace with the arms race in the AFCE. I voted 9-8, because the coaching improvements on O are worth a game.
 

Curtis Pride

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With all the rookies and new players, in addition to the veteran core and a new OC, leads me to believe that the Pats will start slow (say, 3-5) against a tough schedule, but improve as the season goes on and end up 9-8 or 8-9.

Then, if enough drafted players pan out as quality players, they'll be in a position to contend in 2024.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I see it just like almost everybody else. They'll play a lot better than last year but still win only 7-9 games due to the schedule.

2-4 or 3-3 in the division at best, very likely losses to the Chiefs, Eagles, and Cowboys and then they'll do well to go 6-2 or 5-3 in the other eight games.
 

Traut

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Wow, winless in the division? They haven't done that since 1981. Even when they went 2-14 and 1-15 under Dick McPherson, they managed a win in the division. They're not going 0-6 against the AFC East.
The lost both games handily to Buffalo last year. No reason to think they change that in 2023. They always lose 1 to Miami. They only won one last year by 2 points against Teddy Bridgewater. If Tua is healthy you would have to think the Dolphins would be favored in both games (I know this is a fools errand in May).

And the Jets were actually good but for a shitty QB. If they had Aaron Rodgers last year they probably win both of those games.

Yeah odds are they should win 1 of the 4 games between the Dolphins/Jets but even then it bumps it up to 7 wins. Vegas line is 7.5 wins.
 

Shelterdog

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Better offensive coaching for sure, but the team still didn't bother solving a pretty fucking obvious problem at OT. And I'm not sold that we don't have a problem at safety as well. Added playmakers at corner and edge, stayed the same at offensive skill positions. Mac will be running for his life, and we still won't be able to run the ball. But the playmakers that we added on D should help keep pace with the arms race in the AFCE. I voted 9-8, because the coaching improvements on O are worth a game.
The OT problem wasn't obvious to me. Wynn was a nightmare, a lot of the RTs they tried had injuries, and the team did poorly. And Brown's play was up and down but overall I think it was fine. By the end of the season when McDermott got in their the tackle play was fine--not great, but fine.

There's a long term tackle problem, sure, but I think the oline will be pretty good overall next year.

I think maybe 9-8 or 10-7 as well.
 

BaseballJones

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The lost both games handily to Buffalo last year. No reason to think they change that in 2023. They always lose 1 to Miami. They only won one last year by 2 points against Teddy Bridgewater. If Tua is healthy you would have to think the Dolphins would be favored in both games (I know this is a fools errand in May).

And the Jets were actually good but for a shitty QB. If they had Aaron Rodgers last year they probably win both of those games.

Yeah odds are they should win 1 of the 4 games between the Dolphins/Jets but even then it bumps it up to 7 wins. Vegas line is 7.5 wins.
No I get why it seems like the Pats should be the underdog in all those games. But they have had 1-win and 2-win teams in the past and have still managed to win a game in the division. When you break it down as you do, it seems like a tall task to even win a single division game. But then I step back and think...yeah but....New England is going to be pretty decent this year and I cannot see them, when all is said and done, going winless in the division. No way. They'll find a way to win a game or two somehow.
 

Toe Nash

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As others have said it's a tough schedule. I don't think they go winless against the division because you have to really suck to do that but 1-5 is possible. Chiefs, Eagles and @ Denver are very tough. @ Raiders will be tough because it's Josh's super bowl, @Steelers is never easy, @ Dallas is tough though they can choke. I don't love @giants.

Commanders, Chargers, Colts, Saints should be 3 wins. Call it 6-8 wins with a lot of close losses and more than one win where they clinch the game on an INT...

I would feel better about the team if they had made crucial plays when it counted last year but it felt like they lost a number of games they could have pulled out last year and the game is so stacked towards offense when teams are in clutch situations. Feels like a team that DVOA would like much more than their record shows.
 

Mooch

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I'm on the more optimistic side of the ledger: 10-7.

I think the running game will continue to be a strength and the passing game with BOB concepts will be good enough to stay competitive. I'm really bullish on the defense. I think this group could be REALLY good.
 

lexrageorge

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No I get why it seems like the Pats should be the underdog in all those games. But they have had 1-win and 2-win teams in the past and have still managed to win a game in the division. When you break it down as you do, it seems like a tall task to even win a single division game. But then I step back and think...yeah but....New England is going to be pretty decent this year and I cannot see them, when all is said and done, going winless in the division. No way. They'll find a way to win a game or two somehow.
It would indeed be unusual and truly unlikely for the Pats to go 0-6 in divisional games. Usually something happens with injuries, luck, weather, etc. that cause an upset win for the underdogs. Pats at their most dominant seldom swept their division games.

If they do go 0-6, it probably means the bottom fell out of a 4 win season. Possible, but this roster seems better than that.
 

Cellar-Door

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One thing about schedules... you usually get at least 1-2 games a year where the opponent is ravaged by injury/illness.

Also QB injuries... only 8 QBs started all 17 last year, 3 played 16, 5 played 15. So half the league had their QB miss at least 3 games
 

dirtynine

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tried to think about a very broad “chance of winning” for each game - obviously before we know dates / circumstances / all venues (given Germany). I think they have a chance to surprise, and there are also a few teams we assume will be good may be in for down years.

Anyway, here’s my math. Spits out an 8½ win team.

 

Ale Xander

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W’s I see in 2023:

Jets 1x
Fins 1x
DC
Giants
Colts

2 randos through the year where they get a ST TD from Marcus

7-10
 

Ale Xander

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tried to think about a very broad “chance of winning” for each game - obviously before we know dates / circumstances / all venues (given Germany). I think they have a chance to surprise, and there are also a few teams we assume will be good may be in for down years.

Anyway, here’s my math. Spits out an 8½ win team.

Bills .4 (even at home) and .4 on the road? Cmon
Don’t see it that high (above .25)
 

Bergs

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No, I said if they had 32 year old Brady I wouldn't just pencil them in for 12 wins. Sure, they could do it, I just think it'd be far from a given. I don't think 11 with this team is reasonable at all unless Mac turns into a facsimile of Joe Burrows, which I have no reason to believe will happen.
Burrow
 

nattysez

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I'm not a believer in Aaron Rodgers as a Jet, so I've got the Pats going 1-1 v. the Jets.
We have no idea who'll be playing QB for Miami after the first snap of the first game, so I think 1-1 against Miami is realistic, if slightly optimistic.
0-2 v. the Bills
0-2 v. Eagles and Chiefs
Colts, Commies and Broncos have a long way to go - 3 wins there.
@PIT is a good test that will depend on a million factors - let's be optimistic and call that a win.
That leaves four teams they SHOULD lose to -- LAC, DAL, NYG and LV -- but miracles happen. Let's call that 1-3.

That's 7 wins.

As stated upthread, it all really comes down to injury. Rodgers, Tua, Danny Dimes, Dak and James G are not exactly paragons of health. If any of them are out against the Pats, the win total could look a lot different (though Dak and Jimmy G have somewhat competent backups).

I spent last season sweating through a big (for me) bet on the Pats under 8.5. I won't do that again, both because it was unpleasant rooting against the Pats and because it required that stupidity against the Raiders to win. FWIW, the Vegas win total for the Pats this year is 7.5, which seems about right.
 

Bowser

New Member
Sep 27, 2019
440
I'm not a believer in Aaron Rodgers as a Jet, so I've got the Pats going 1-1 v. the Jets.
We have no idea who'll be playing QB for Miami after the first snap of the first game, so I think 1-1 against Miami is realistic, if slightly optimistic.
0-2 v. the Bills
0-2 v. Eagles and Chiefs
Colts, Commies and Broncos have a long way to go - 3 wins there.
@PIT is a good test that will depend on a million factors - let's be optimistic and call that a win.
That leaves four teams they SHOULD lose to -- LAC, DAL, NYG and LV -- but miracles happen. Let's call that 1-3.

That's 7 wins.

As stated upthread, it all really comes down to injury. Rodgers, Tua, Danny Dimes, Dak and James G are not exactly paragons of health. If any of them are out against the Pats, the win total could look a lot different (though Dak and Jimmy G have somewhat competent backups).

I spent last season sweating through a big (for me) bet on the Pats under 8.5. I won't do that again, both because it was unpleasant rooting against the Pats and because it required that stupidity against the Raiders to win. FWIW, the Vegas win total for the Pats this year is 7.5, which seems about right.
I can't disagree with any of this, though I'd say going 1-3 against LAC, DAL, NYG and LV would not require a miracle. It's more or less what I expect. Still, a bleak outlook for a team that will likely take a step forward next year. Upside is that a 7-10 record might have us drafting inside the top 10.
 

ShaneTrot

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I am optimistic, the defense was pretty good last year, the offense was horrid, and the special teams may have cost them several games. Defensive performance year to year is more variable than offensive performance but this rookie class should help, hopefully, Uche keeps playing at the level he attained last year. My one concern about the defense is the loss of McCourty but they have a bunch of veteran safeties. I expect the special teams to be better and I expect the offense to be middle of the pack, not bottom five. I expect nine or ten wins. Did anyone see how the Bills' defense performed down the stretch and in the playoffs? No team in this division is without issues. I expect the Pats to revert back to their smart and tough ways after a year of being dumbasses.
 

Toe Nash

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One thing about schedules... you usually get at least 1-2 games a year where the opponent is ravaged by injury/illness.

Also QB injuries... only 8 QBs started all 17 last year, 3 played 16, 5 played 15. So half the league had their QB miss at least 3 games
Well, in the Jets case their QB was healthy but their backup probably would have beaten us. So it's not just about who is healthy.

It is of course probable we will face a couple backups because of injury but every team on the schedule except Washington, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh has a top 20 starting QB going into the season which was not the case last year, when if had we done this same exercise we would have noted the Jets, Colts, Steelers, Browns and (arguably) Bears were all suspect at the most important position on the field. And then we got lucky by getting wins against Miami and Arizona's backups on top of that. Do you think that will happen again?
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
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meh
Well, in the Jets case their QB was healthy but their backup probably would have beaten us. So it's not just about who is healthy.

It is of course probable we will face a couple backups because of injury but every team on the schedule except Washington, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh has a top 20 starting QB going into the season which was not the case last year, when if had we done this same exercise we would have noted the Jets, Colts, Steelers, Browns and (arguably) Bears were all suspect at the most important position on the field. And then we got lucky by getting wins against Miami and Arizona's backups on top of that. Do you think that will happen again?
Meh, who knows. The point was more that pre-season prognosticating is usually pointless.
I mean, if I told you pre-season... hey we'll play our 3rd string late round rookie against Aaron Rodgers... you'd assume we got killed. We barely lost in OT. We won and lost a lot of weird games last year, the NFL is far more unpredicatible than people give it credit for.
 

IdiotKicker

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Nov 21, 2005
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11-6. I think the true level of talent on offense is meaningfully above what we think it is because of how bad the coaching was on that side of the ball last year, and I think the defense has added potential impact pieces in a few areas that match up well with how the division is constructed currently. I thought they were a 6-win team last year, so I was a bit too negative in how much the coaching would impact the overall record, but this year I think they surprise us to the upside because there’s actually some decent talent on offense, it was just buried under a pile of Patricia.
 

Cellar-Door

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11-6. I think the true level of talent on offense is meaningfully above what we think it is because of how bad the coaching was on that side of the ball last year, and I think the defense has added potential impact pieces in a few areas that match up well with how the division is constructed currently. I thought they were a 6-win team last year, so I was a bit too negative in how much the coaching would impact the overall record, but this year I think they surprise us to the upside because there’s actually some decent talent on offense, it was just buried under a pile of Patricia.
i think this is overly optimistic, but I do agree people are wildly underestimating the offensive talent.
Now, QB is still up in the air, but the line should be a bunch of acceptably solid pros (with 2-3 legit good players), the TE group is strong, Henry has consistently been a top 15 TE, and Gesicki put up top 10 seasons as recently as 2021-22.
The WR corps is solid enough, Juju was the #1 in KC last year (yes he's not a "True 1") Parker is a solid vet, Bourne has some real potential, and in 2021-22 showed it. Rham is a strong RB.
This offense is far more mediocre than bad. With a top QB they'd probably be quite good.

The Defense should also be better from a group that has been solid. And they should be helped some by the offense being less of a disaster.

Edit- now I don't think last year's offense was all on the coaches, several players regressed (notably Mac, Wynn, Jonnu) and there were some other issues. However, I do think switching to a different scheme, particularly one that appears it's going to focus on YAC, creating mismatches, and abandon the zone experiment for downhill gap, is going to help. Patricia really struggled to both protect Mac (in terms of playcalling not blocking) and create explosive plays. He simply too often defaulted to either training wheels or yolo go routes. A more disciplined approach to the playbook and play calls should be interesting. Also, Bill O'Brien for all his personnel flaws, is a good offensive coach, has been everywhere he went. He might not wow you with McDaniel style trickery or openess, but he'll run good stuff.
 

j-man

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Dec 19, 2012
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my 02 cents
0-2 vs buf 1-1 vs mia 1-1 vs nyj
L to KC Philly
W aga wash indy no
L aga NYG
W aga DAL
L at LV DEN
W LAC

7-10
 

rodderick

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i think this is overly optimistic, but I do agree people are wildly underestimating the offensive talent.
Now, QB is still up in the air, but the line should be a bunch of acceptably solid pros (with 2-3 legit good players), the TE group is strong, Henry has consistently been a top 15 TE, and Gesicki put up top 10 seasons as recently as 2021-22.
The WR corps is solid enough, Juju was the #1 in KC last year (yes he's not a "True 1") Parker is a solid vet, Bourne has some real potential, and in 2021-22 showed it. Rham is a strong RB.
This offense is far more mediocre than bad. With a top QB they'd probably be quite good.

The Defense should also be better from a group that has been solid. And they should be helped some by the offense being less of a disaster.

Edit- now I don't think last year's offense was all on the coaches, several players regressed (notably Mac, Wynn, Jonnu) and there were some other issues. However, I do think switching to a different scheme, particularly one that appears it's going to focus on YAC, creating mismatches, and abandon the zone experiment for downhill gap, is going to help. Patricia really struggled to both protect Mac (in terms of playcalling not blocking) and create explosive plays. He simply too often defaulted to either training wheels or yolo go routes. A more disciplined approach to the playbook and play calls should be interesting. Also, Bill O'Brien for all his personnel flaws, is a good offensive coach, has been everywhere he went. He might not wow you with McDaniel style trickery or openess, but he'll run good stuff.
Just as long as we determine this group should be enough to put a good offense together with right now and don't immediately start calling them bums when Mac isn't great. I still think the receiving corps is bottom quartile of the league.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I'm on the more optimistic side of the ledger: 10-7.

I think the running game will continue to be a strength and the passing game with BOB concepts will be good enough to stay competitive. I'm really bullish on the defense. I think this group could be REALLY good.
I'm joining you on team wild-eyed optimist. I think 10 wins.Reasons:

1. The defense had some limitations (lack of top end athleticism) at several key positions, but despite that they were actually quite good on a game to game basis. All the key guys are back save McCourty and they have added a top end talent at a position of need (big cover CB) and athleticism with the day 2 picks. I like the chances of the D to be meaningfully better.

2. I think the offensive coaching mess cost the team a lot last year, and that will be fixed. We have a real line coach and a real OC.

3. Special teams were also uncharacteristically bad last year, but I think there is potential for improvement there.

Even with the schedule being hard, I think the Pats can improve by 2 wins. I don't really expect more than that because the schedule is so tough.
Edit- now I don't think last year's offense was all on the coaches, several players regressed (notably Mac, Wynn, Jonnu) and there were some other issues. However, I do think switching to a different scheme, particularly one that appears it's going to focus on YAC, creating mismatches, and abandon the zone experiment for downhill gap, is going to help. Patricia really struggled to both protect Mac (in terms of playcalling not blocking) and create explosive plays. He simply too often defaulted to either training wheels or yolo go routes. A more disciplined approach to the playbook and play calls should be interesting. Also, Bill O'Brien for all his personnel flaws, is a good offensive coach, has been everywhere he went. He might not wow you with McDaniel style trickery or openess, but he'll run good stuff.
I agree the offense can't be blamed entirely on the offensive coaching, but I think at some point it gets hard to distinguish what caused what. I think the offensive coaching brought out the worst in some of the players.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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2021 Mac: 67.6%, 7.3 y/a, 22 td, 13 int, 92.5 rating, 28 sacks
2022 Mac: 65.2%, 6.8 y/a, 14 td, 11 int, 84.8 rating, 34 sacks

So we KNOW that Mac can be a lot better than what he showed in 2022. The 2022 Patriots lost:

- by 3 to GB in OT when they had a chance to win it and blew it
- by 7 to Min when they had a 3 point 4th quarter lead and blew it
- by 6 to LV on the last, ridiculous, play of the game after having a 24-17 lead in the fourth
- by 4 to Cin when they had a chance to win but fumbled at the Cin goal line at the end
- by 12 at Buf when their special teams gave up 2 kickoff returns for TD

I'm not here to say they SHOULD have won these games. But I'm asking....if the Pats had 2021 Mac instead of 2022 Mac, and 2021 special teams instead of 2022 special teams, how many of these games do they win? 2? 3? 4? Probably not all of them. But definitely SOME of them, right? Even if we say they win 2, that means they'd have been a 10-7 team last year.

If the Patriots get "normal" Patriots-level special teams play, and return even to 2022 Mac Jones, they will be GREATLY improved over 2022. Do we all agree on that?
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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Jul 26, 2007
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I voted 9-8. Not good enough to make the playoffs. I'm looking for improvement in all three phases that will allow them to squeeze out an extra win, maybe 2. What I really want to see is them building for a run in 2024, when the play the NFC West and the AFC south, which should involve a bunch of teams in the middle of their rebuild. Get rid of the stupid mistakes, get rid of the guys who cant play and replace them with guys who can, and focus on playing sound football.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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2021 Mac: 67.6%, 7.3 y/a, 22 td, 13 int, 92.5 rating, 28 sacks
2022 Mac: 65.2%, 6.8 y/a, 14 td, 11 int, 84.8 rating, 34 sacks

So we KNOW that Mac can be a lot better than what he showed in 2022. The 2022 Patriots lost:

- by 3 to GB in OT when they had a chance to win it and blew it
- by 7 to Min when they had a 3 point 4th quarter lead and blew it
- by 6 to LV on the last, ridiculous, play of the game after having a 24-17 lead in the fourth
- by 4 to Cin when they had a chance to win but fumbled at the Cin goal line at the end
- by 12 at Buf when their special teams gave up 2 kickoff returns for TD

I'm not here to say they SHOULD have won these games. But I'm asking....if the Pats had 2021 Mac instead of 2022 Mac, and 2021 special teams instead of 2022 special teams, how many of these games do they win? 2? 3? 4? Probably not all of them. But definitely SOME of them, right? Even if we say they win 2, that means they'd have been a 10-7 team last year.

If the Patriots get "normal" Patriots-level special teams play, and return even to 2022 Mac Jones, they will be GREATLY improved over 2022. Do we all agree on that?
Mac didn’t play against GB.

But a better defense probably nets the team wins against the Vikings and Raiders.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Mac didn’t play against GB.

But a better defense probably nets the team wins against the Vikings and Raiders.
I know Mac didn't play against GB. But I'm asking....if 2022 Mac played all season, how much of a difference would it have made? So...would the Pats have beaten GB if 2022 Mac played instead of (in that case) Hoyer and Zappe?