6 Patriots Most to Blame for Disastrous 2023-24 Season

These 6 Patriots are the primary reasons the team was a mess throughout the season

New England Patriots
New England Patriots / Elsa/GettyImages
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5. Chad Ryland, K

Bill Belichick has always been praised for knowing when to move on from a veteran but that doesn't mean he's never cut bait too early. That was the case in 2023 when they decided to move on from their reliable kicker, Nick Folk.

During his four seasons in New England, Folk was as steady as they come. He connected on 89.3 percent of his field goals including hitting 32-of-37 with a long of 54 last year. Still, the Pats decided to get younger as they drafted Chad Ryland in the fourth round.

Ryland was given the job due to his draft status (because he wasn't better than Folk) then had one of the worst seasons in recent memory. The rookie connected on just 64 percent of his attempts, even costing them a shot at a win when he missed a 35-yard kick against the Giants, which would have tied the game with six seconds to play. He did hit a game-winner against Denver near the end of the season but whiffed on a field goal and an extra point on the same night.

As for Folk, he had his best season ever for the Tennessee Titans. The 39-year-old made 29-of-30 kicks including a 53-yarder — and was 5-of-6 overall from beyond 50. Clearly this was a mistake and New England left a lot of points on the board due to Ryland's struggles.