New England Patriots 2022-23 Season Preview

The air is getting crisper, the leaves are turning orange. This all can only mean one thing… The New England Patriots are back. But are they back to the Patriots of old? 

Key Additions: The Patriots didn’t make the major splash they did an off-season ago when they spent over $200 million in free agency in 2021. Coming off of a 7-9 record the season before, upgrades were necessary. Despite a mostly successful season a year, New England would end 2021 on a sour, missing the playoffs. A more quiet approach was deemed necessary by Bill Belichick this time around, with the team’s biggest move coming in the form of a trade with the rival Miami Dolphins to acquire wide receiver, DeVante Parker. Parker instantly becomes the team’s best offensive weapon and should easily become Mac Jones’s top target throughout the season.

Perhaps the biggest additions were the reunions of two former Patriot assistant coaches: Joe Judge and Matt Patricia. Both are not under the same role as they previously occupied, instead helping run the offense. Their roles remain unclear as long as Belichick refuses to hand out titles. These additions are bigger than any player addition this off-season, but the results have yet to be seen.

You also can’t ignore the bizarre first-round pick of offensive guard Cole Strange, player most experts had going much later than round one. Strange is projected to start at left guard. He was praised very highly by Belichick and his coaches at UT Chattanooga, but unless he becomes an immediate contributor, this pick will be critiqued for quite some time.

Key Departures: The Patriot’s biggest loss outside of the retiring James White, was to longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels who found a head coaching job with the Las Vegas Raiders. His comfortability with Mac Jones and willingness to have stability at the position were key for the young quarterback’s continued development. This loss will truly be measured by the offense’s growth or step back with no official offensive coordinator being named going into the season.

The Patriots are a team that looked to be on the up and up last season with rookie QB Mac Jones. Jones led New England to on a run for the division title at the end of last season. I don’t see a similar scenario playing out this year. Losing Josh McDaniels will be a bigger loss than adding two past assistants to the coaching staff. Still, there are many concerns for the Patriots this season. Jones’s supporting cast outside of Devante Parker looks average at best. New England is definitely lacking on both sides of the ball. Add that with a tough schedule on tap and the surging Buffalo Bills in the divisions, the New England Patriots have their work cut out for them in 2022.

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