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New England Patriots 2022-23 season preview: Can Mac run it back?


After shocking the NFL and making the playoffs with rookie quarterback Mac Jones, it was a harsh reality check losing 47-17.

I can’t see the 2022-23 season getting better.

Strength

As always, the Patriots had an excellent defence, ranking top three in the NFL for these categories: points conceded, turnovers forced, first downs conceded, passing yards allowed, interceptions, net passing yards per attempt, rushing touchdowns allowed and points conceded per drive.

These are incredibly impressive numbers and they carried New England through to a playoff berth last season.

Weakness

Statistically, the Patriots were very solid in every area last season, so it is hard to pinpoint a statistical weakness. However, when looking at their depth chart, they are lacking at wide receiver in terms of star power.

Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne were good last season and did what they could, however with the AFC way better and the likelihood they will play from behind more often, I don’t think they have a big-time playmaker.

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Player to watch

Christian Barmore made the All-Rookie team last season while only starting two games. He was a high impact player in his limited snaps last season, having 46 tackles, nine quarterback hits and three tackles for loss. He is projected to be the starting defensive tackle and will be ready to unleash on opposing quarterbacks this season.

Who’s under pressure?

Instead of looking at an individual being under pressure, I am looking at a position group. The Patriots lost cornerback J.C Jackson to the Chargers over the off-season coming off an eight-interception season.

Take out his eight, the Patriots’ other cornerbacks last season had two interceptions. He was their best individual defensive player and with star AFC wide receivers everywhere, they could get exposed.

Projection

Despite making the playoffs last season, the AFC has rapidly improved, and the Patriots are one of the rare few teams that got worse.

The loss of J.C Jackson may leave the biggest hole of any departure in the NFL and their offence looks to lack explosiveness.

I am still not sold on Mac Jones despite his impressive rookie season and I don’t think he has the ability to carry a team to wins.

Win/loss: 7-10.



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