Now that the Patriots’ Official Schedule is out, we can look at it and project wins and losses. The Patriots have a brutal schedule according to NBC Analyst Warren Sharp. He states the Patriots have the worst schedule based on the projected wins by the Las Vegas Oddsmakers.
Now we know when the Patriots will be playing these teams and how many days off they will have. Last season Sharp declared the Patriots had the worst schedule based on the number of days off.
The Patriots lost 12 days of rest over the course of the season and gained no advantage of having the BYE week (except the rest) because the schedule makers gave the Jets the same BYE week and that was the Patriots’ opponent the next game.
This appears at 1st glance to be a fair and balanced schedule with a few hiccups along the way. I will go game by game and assign a win or loss to each.
Warren Sharp had done a schedule analysis for the league and has the Patriots’ schedule ranked #23. That is better than the #32 he predicted after the Vegas Won/Loss prediction came out. The biggest reason is the number of excellent QBs the Pats will face over the course of the season. Perhaps this is the reason that Bill Belichick used his 1st three draft picks this season on Defense.
Week 1 PHI @ NE – Tough opening match. I expect the offense to be greatly improved from last year. However, I don’t think the Pats are ready to hang with the Eagles. Nice to have the GOAT in the house but that’s not going to be enough. LOSS
Week 2 MIA @ NE – How do you match up with all that speed the Miami offense has? The Patriots’ defense was #11 in the league last season and I think they may be even better this year with the addition of Gonzalez, White, and Mapu. This has always been a rivalry game.
I don’t like that we have to play at home so early in the season. That’s a big advantage to Miami, who doesn’t have to play in the cold. Despite this, I think the Patriots will prevail in this game. WIN
Week 3 NE @ NYJ – How much of an impact will Aaron Rodgers have on the Jets? I don’t think it is going to be as much as people think. Rodgers is crafty but he is also old. Jets O-line is a mess and have not established a running game. This is a game the Patriots can snatch on the road. WIN
Week 4 NE @ DAL – Great game to attend if you are interested in going on the road with the Patriots. The house that Jerry built is magnificent. My wife and I went with a Patriots Tailgating group the last time they played in Big D and had a ball. Now about the game.
I think the Cowboys will have a slight edge in this game by playing at home. It will be close. Injuries start to crop up around this time and could affect the final outcome. The Cowboys will come out on top. LOSS
Week 5 NO @ NE – The Saints are in a bigger rebuilding role than the Patriots are. The Pats, despite poor offensive coaching, nearly won 11 games. The Patriots are just plain better than the Saints and are playing at home. WIN
Week 6 NE @ LV – Jimmy Garoppolo has some nice weapons. Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Jakobi Meyers along with rookie TE Michael Mayer give the QB options. Josh Jacobs gives them a reliable running game to set up Garoppolo and play action passes.
The game is in Las Vegas and that is West Coast travel. I am giving the Raiders the nod because they are playing at home. Just remember the Patriots were in control of that game last year in Las Vegas before they threw up on themselves. LOSS
Week 7 BUF @ NE – Josh Allen … enough said. I think the Bills have actually gotten better this year. Love their signing of Damien Harris. He is a reliable backup. They have added former All-Pro Punt Returner Deonte Harris and drafted TE Dalton Kincaid.
The Deonte Harris signing was a sneaky good signing and he easily replaces Isaiah McKenzie. James Cook is now the number 1 RB. LOSS
Week 8 NE @ MIA – The Patriots wilt when they have to play in the heat of Miami. LOSS
Week 9 WAS @ NE – Another team in transition. Who is afraid of Sam Howell at QB? They have a nice receiving core but the QB play is not good enough. Dotson, Samuel, McLaurin, and Gibson are above-average receiving corps. The Commanders’ defense is good but that’s not enough to beat the Patriots at home. WIN
Week 10 IND @ NE in Frankfurt Germany – The fact they are playing in Germany neutralizes the home-field advantage. However, the Colts QB situation bears watching. If Richardson is the QB, then Belichick can do his magic and play with his head. Bill has a great record against rookie QBs. WIN
Week 11 BYE The BYE is placed at a good time, but the next stretch of 6 games is brutal.
Week 12 NE @ NYG – This is an interesting game between what looks like it could be evenly-matched teams. Daniel Jones has elevated himself into the top 10 QBs in the league, especially with his mobility. Playing the game at the Meadowlands is the difference. LOSS
Week 13 LAC @ NE – Another great QB in Justin Herbert. Good receiving corps in Allen, Williams, and rookie Quentin Johnson. This may be the last roundup with Austin Ekeler as he will be an Unrestricted Free Agent next year at age 29. Too much firepower! LOSS
Week 14 NE @ PIT Thursday Night Football – Short week and playing at Pittsburgh doom the Pats. LOSS
Week 15 KC @ NE Monday Night Football – The Defending Super Bowl Champs come to Foxboro. The Patriots will benefit from the mini-bye and having an extra day to prepare.
However, they are playing the champs. Too much Mahomes and company. The receivers don’t impress me but Patrick Mahomes ability to extend plays and get them the ball does. Travis Kelce is a beast but I would think the Patriots could neutralize him. Close game but the Champs come out on top. LOSS
Week 16 NE @ DEN Short week for the Pats plus west coast travel. Mile High Stadium is a house of horrors for the Patriots. LOSS
Week 17 NE @ BUF Bills Mafia and home field LOSS
Week 18 NYJ @ NE I wonder if this game will mean anything for either team? The Jets have to prove to me they are a better team and the Pats are playing at home. WIN
Overall record 6-11. The Patriots will be an improved team, especially on Offense, but the Defense is not good enough to stop the onslaught of good Offensive teams.
Two games stand out to me. The week 14 Thursday Night game at Pittsburgh and the Week 16 game versus Denver. The short week in both games is working against the Patriots in away games that I would normally put in the win column. Last season I predicted the same win/loss record and the Patriots did much better than I thought they would have with the inexperienced Offensive Coaches. Bill O’Brien’s influence is already being felt.
If the Defense can stop some of these high-powered offenses and the Patriots’ Offense improves as I expect they will, they may have a chance for some upsets. Despite the win/loss projection, I am optimistic for the upcoming season.
Lynn Bowden Waived
The corresponding move to Trae Hayes signing was the release of Lynn Bowden. The WR was on the Patriots Practice Squad last season. The signing of UDFA Malik Cunningham made Bowden expendable. Bowden was a WR for two seasons at Kentucky and then as a senior, they asked him to take over at QB. He was an elusive running QB and he led Kentucky to a Bowl Game.
In 2020, Bowden was drafted as a running back in the 3rd Round (#80) as a selection of the Las Vegas Raiders. He was traded to the Miami Dolphins at cutdown day. Bowden had a 7 catch game for the Phins in 2020. The following season on cutdown day, he was put on IR and was out for the 2021 season. The Patriots picked him up for their Practice Squad after he was waived on cutdown day in 2022.
Two More Rookies Signed
The other two 6th-round picks signed. Bryce Barringer, P, Michigan State, signed as did Demarius Douglas WR Liberty. Barringer holds the Michigan State record with a 49-yards per punt average for a season (2022). He also holds the Big 10 career record of 46 yards per punt for a career. Douglas played at the East-West Shrine game for WR position coach Troy Brown.
Douglas is fearless on crossing routes despite his 5’ 8” size. He also doesn’t drop the ball. He had only 4 drops in over a hundred targets. Douglas is also an accomplished kickoff return man. You know that Bill Belichick likes those players that can play more than one position.
Posted Under: 2023 Patriots Offseason