After nearly two decades of unparalleled success, the New England Patriots are just another mediocre team. The Patriots won the AFC East 17 times in 19 seasons from 2001 to 2019, and they set a new standard for dynasties with six Super Bowls in that stretch.
Unfortunately, the loss of Tom Brady has really affected this franchise. Although Bill Belichick remains the greatest coach of his generation, the offense has not been great, and that has led to the Patriots going just 17-16 over the last two seasons. It’s likely going to be another .500 or so season for New England, as the oddsmakers essentially have New England right in the middle of the pack.
New England Patriots Season Win Total
Over 8.5 Wins -111
Under 8.5 Wins -109
2022 New England Patriots Schedule
|WEEK ||MATCHUP |
|1 ||@ Miami Dolphins |
|2 ||@ Pittsburgh Steelers |
|3 ||Vs. Baltimore Ravens |
|4 ||@ Green Bay Packers |
|5 ||Vs. Detroit Lions |
|6 ||@ Cleveland Browns |
|7 ||Vs. Chicago Bears |
|8 ||@ New York Jets |
|9 ||Vs. Indianapolis Colts |
|10 ||BYE WEEK |
|11 ||Vs. New York Jets |
|12 ||@ Minnesota Vikings |
|13 ||Vs. Buffalo Bills |
|14 ||@ Arizona Cardinals |
|15 ||@ Las Vegas Raiders |
|16 ||Vs. Cincinnati Bengals |
|17 ||Vs. Miami Dolphins |
|18 ||@ Buffalo Bills |
New England Patriots Offense
Mac Jones had a solid rookie year with the New England Patriots, and he was one of the frontrunners to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for most of the season. Jones performed better than any other rookie quarterback, but there are some concerns over whether or not he has already come close to maximizing his potential. Opposing teams started to figure him out over the latter half of the season, and he tossed six touchdowns and five interceptions in his last four games. If New England is going to challenge Buffalo for the AFC East title, Jones is going to have to take a step forward in his second season.
Unfortunately for Jones, the Patriots still don’t have many weapons in the passing game. N’Keal Harry has been a bust, and undrafted Jakobi Meyers was the top receiver last year. Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor aren’t anything special, but DeVante Parker could be a bit of an improvement if he still has something left in the tank.
This ground game is in much better shape with running backs Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson leading the way. Harris and Stevenson both averaged 4.6 YPC last season, and Harris was a serious goal line threat with 15 rushing touchdowns. Stevenson could play an even bigger role in his second season, and he is more of a receiving threat out of the backfield than Harris.
New England Patriots Defense
This defense will always be one of the better units in the league with Bill Belichick calling the shots. Belichick knows how to get the best out of his players on this side of the ball. The Patriots have ranked in the top seven in scoring defense for six straight seasons, and the worst they have finished in this department under Belichick is 17th in the league.
New England has an underrated defensive line. Christian Barmore seems to be a budding playmaker at defensive tackle, and Lawrence Guy is solid up front. There isn’t a lot of depth though, so those two players will have to stay healthy.
Linebackers Matthew Judon and Josh Uche are pretty good, and the secondary has a proven playmaker in Devin McCourty. This pass defense ranked fifth in YPA (6.2 YPA) last year and fourth in passing yards (193.8 YPG), but they lost J.C. Jackson in the offseason and are replacing him with Terrance Mitchell from Houston. Belichick is known for having strong secondaries, but this unit doesn’t look great on paper.
The Bill Belichick mystique is starting to fade away. New England has not been the same since TB12 went to Tampa Bay two years ago, and the Patriots’ window may be closing. Belichick just turned 70, and there is a question regarding how much longer he will coach after he breaks Don Shula’s all-time wins record. The Patriots will be well-coached, but the lack of talent will result in a losing season with the division having improved in the offseason.
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