Coming off two losing seasons in the past three years, the Patriots have a crucial year ahead of them. It’s a make-or-break year for Mac Jones, the AFC East is absolutely stacked, and Bill Belichick still has to prove he can win without Tom Brady.
This season could go a number of ways for New England. If Jones bounces back and Bill O’Brien revitalizes the offense, the team should be a playoff contender with its elite defense. If Jones struggles again, however, and the offense remains subpar, another losing season could be in the cards.
One of the most fun parts of preseason is making bold predictions about your favorite teams. Anything could happen, so everything is on the table. It’s a chance to dream big and hope for the best-case scenario, or imagine how the worst-case scenario might play out.
That said, here are five bold Patriots predictions for the upcoming season.
5 Bold Patriots Predictions for 2023
1. Mac Jones Makes the Pro Bowl
Jones was a Pro Bowler as a rookie in 2021 but took a major step back in 2022, regressing across the board in Joe Judge and Matt Patricia’s joke of an offense.
Fortunately, neither of them are in charge of the offense this year, which should result in a return to normalcy for Jones. O’Brien is one of the better offensive minds in the NFL and was re-hired after coaching at Alabama, which also happens to be Mac’s alma mater.
Accordingly, O’Brien’s offense should help Jones at least get back to his 2021 level, if not surpass it. He already proved he has the talent — he just needs a coach who can help him unlock it after it got put on the shelf last year.
Jones was a first-round pick for a reason, and he’s in a much better spot to succeed this year than he was last year.