Ranking the New England Patriots Opponents With Win Total and Record Prediction

Coming off an 8-9 regular season and missing the playoffs for the second time in three years, the Patriots made some much needed moves on the coaching staff and throughout the roster in the offseason. As they head into the 2023-24 regular season, let’s take a look at what to expect from the Pats this year.

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Where the Patriots Stand Heading into 2023-24 Season

One of the biggest moves was hiring former Texans HC (and Patriots OC) Bill O’Brien into his same role as offensive coordinator. O’Brien was on the Patriots’ offensive staff from 2007 to 2011. The team went to two Super Bowls, losing both, but the offense was setting league records in 2007. That same is remembered for being an almost undefeated season.

It is evident that Mac Jones isn’t Tom Brady, but there is still reason for optimism heading into this season. The Pats looked lost on offense at times last year with a confusing group of play-callers.

In terms of key additions and departures this offseason, the Pats strengthened areas while letting go of some replaceable players. NBC Sports Boston highlights all of the moves made by New England through free-agency so far.

Along with free-agency, the Patriots draft went well according to many, highlighted by first round selection Christian Gonzalez, a cornerback out of Oregon who many fans call the “steal of the first round”.

With this being said, the Patriots have the hardest strength of schedule heading into the season, with the AFC East getting better each day.

Patriots Opponents Ranked Easiest to Toughest

14. Indianapolis Colts (Week 10, Germany)

The Colts had a rough season last year with the Matt Ryan experiment ending in two in-season benchings and a 4-12-1 record, fourth worst in the league. This season did end with Indy getting the 4th overall pick in the draft, in which they took the young and talented QB Anthony Richardson out of Florida. It may take some time for Richardson to adjust to the NFL level, but his ceiling is through the roof, as he was garnering Cam Newton at Auburn comparisons. The roster outside of Richardson and Jonathan Taylor on the offensive end is nothing special, and the Patriots took care of business against the Colts in a dominating defensive win. The Patriots first international game since 2017 should end in a win, as I think the Colts will need a year or two to get back into contention.

13. Washington Commanders (Week 9)

With Sam Howell projected to start at QB for the Commanders this season, there are low expectations for this team in a crowded NFC East. Aside from some playmakers such as Terry McLaurin and Chase Young, this roster doesn’t provide much else and their offense will be hindered from its QB play. Ron Rivera‘s job may be on the line if this team doesn’t get off to an ideal start. After an 8-8-1 season last year and an unproven quarterback at the helm backed up by Jacoby Brissett, this should be a team that the Patriots beat at home during the midseason stretch.

12. Las Vegas Raiders (Week 6)

Let’s not talk about last years ending between the Pats and Raiders, as one of the worst blunders in NFL history occurred and the Raiders walked off with a defensive touchdown after a failed lateral from Jackobi Meyers (who is now a Raider). There are mixed expectations for this years Raiders team. Replacing Derek Carr with Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t much of an upgrade to many, and the rest of the roster stayed the same headed by Devantae Adams and Josh Jacobs on the offensive end. The defense didn’t get much better after allowing 24.6 points per game last season, good for 7th most in the league. This game should stay close with McDaniels coaching and familiar faces on both sides, but the Pats will be out for revenge after last years disappointing ending.

11. New Orleans Saints (Week 5)

After a 7-10 season and adding Derek Carr into the fold, the Saints are the favorites (+115) to win the NFC South via Draftkings Sportsbook in one of the biggest toss-up divisions the NFL has seen after Tom Brady retired as a Buccaneer. The Saints have a solid roster up and down, and could make me look foolish if everyone stays healthy. For now, I see them as one of those middle-of-the-pack teams, getting a little better in the offseason but not a great deal. Michael Thomas‘ staying healthy would be big for New Orleans, with Chris Olave rising and Alvin Kamara still being one of the league’s premier backs. The uncertainty stands with Carr, who couldn’t get it done with Adams and a solid group of playmakers around him in Vegas last season. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in New Orleans early on, with Jameis Winston a close backup. Their defense stays solid, similar to the Pats, as they ranked 9th in PPG allowed last season. This should be an interesting game between two even teams early in the year.

10. Denver Broncos (Week 16)

The 2022-2023 season couldn’t have gone worse for the Broncos, as Russell Wilson was bad, to put it lightly. The trade to acquire him from Seattle looks horrible as of now. Finishing 5-12, last in their division behind the Raiders, changes needed to be made, starting with bringing Sean Payton out of retirement to be the head coach of this team. I have alot of faith in this coaching staff, with Vance Joseph manning the defense and Joe Lombardi manning the offense, the only way to go is up this season. Offensive pieces include promising second year RB Javontae Williams coming back from injury and a solid receiving room consisting of Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick. The defense is in good hands under Joseph, with Pat Surtain II leading the way as one of the leagues premiere corners. The Broncos will be one of those teams to watch this year after improving their coaching staff.

9. New York Giants (Week 12)

Is Daniel Jones worth 160 million over the next 4 years? We shall see. Aside of Jones, this roster is in good hands under coach Brian Daboll, last years COTY. Headlined by Saquon Barkley and new offseason addition Darren Waller, the offense should be a little better than last season, but of coarse, that lies in the hands of Danny Dimes. The defense could use some work after allowing nearly 23 PPG to opponents last season. The G-Men are ranked this high over a few teams because of what Daboll could do with this team in year 2, after winning a wild card game against Minnesota in January before getting stomped by the Eagles in the divisional. The Giants don’t benefit from having Dallas and Philadelphia in their division, but they will still be competing for a wild card spot again. This will be a fun Week 12 matchup for the Pats with these two franchises past history.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 14)

You may be asking why the Steelers are this high. The answer? Mike Tomlin and that defense, which will only get better. The Steelers had one of the best defenses last season, giving up 20.4 points, tied with the Patriots. Playmakers such as TJ Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick and longtime Steeler Cameron Heyward headline this defense, along with picking up corner Joey Porter Jr. in the draft to sure up the secondary. The offense is led by 2nd year QB Kenny Pickett, Najee Harris and recievers Diontae Johnson and rising George Pickens, one of the best of last years rookie class. The Patriots took home a W on the road early into the season last year, but this will be a better Steelers team for 2023. I expect the Steelers to be able to stay afloat in a crowded AFC North headlined by the Bengals. This will be a fun Thursday Night game to watch between two similar teams, and coaches who know each other very well.

7. New York Jets (Weeks 3 & 18)

The Jets finally got their guy in Aaron Rodgers this offseason, and expectations are sky high for this team in the NFL world after the Jets got what they’ve been needing desperately – a proven quarterback. Pair that with young playmakers up and down the roster including the offensive and defensive rookies of the year in Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardener, and you have yourself one of the many playoff hopeful teams in the AFC. Robert Saleh has done a great job with this team and building it through the draft and free agency after an inspiring year in 2022 after years of disappointment for Jets fans. The Jets haven’t beat the Patriots since 2015, but this season is the best chance they have had yet with Rodgers at the helm and one of the best rosters they’ve had in some time. All eyes will be on the Jets this season, and these two matchups should be must-see TV to see if they can finally best the Pats after 8 years.

6. Los Angeles Chargers (Week 13)

After one of the most brutal collapses in the wild card vs Jacksonville last season (leading 27-0 in the second quarter), the Chargers come into the season with a chip on their shoulder, led by generational talent Justin Herbert and a high-flying offense. The offense isn’t the problem for this team, it usually is stalled by their defense, who let up 23 points per game to opponents last season while scoring the 12th-most at 23.4. Their defense should take a step forward this season, getting JC Jackson back and keeping the core intact (Joey Bosa, Derwin James and Khalil Mack). The Chargers are led by head coach Brandon Staley who got some heat after the collapse in the wild card. It will be fun to watch the Patriots defense go up against this Chargers offense in what could be a high-scoring affair in Week 13.

5. Miami Dolphins (Weeks 2 & 8)

This Patriots schedule gets tougher and tougher as you look. The Dolphins made the playoffs at 9-8 last season even with Tua being not available down the stretch. Under HC Mike McDaniel, the Dolphins come into this year with an even better roster, acquiring one of the best corners in the game in Jalen Ramsey, alongside the studs Xavian Howard, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle who have been there for a year. It should be noted that Tua’s head health will be a crucial point for this team, as he was in the midst of leading the Fins to the playoffs and battling for the AFC East crown when he was on the field. The Patriots will have their hands full with the speed and star power that Miami presents in their two matchups this season. The AFC East is so competitive that you could flop Miami and #4 and no one would bat an eye.

4. Buffalo Bills (Weeks 7 & 17)

Another AFC East foe, the Buffalo Bills have been the kings of this division since Tom Brady left for Tampa, and are always a tough opponent to the Patriots, who lost both meetings to Buffalo last season. Josh Allen has been improving his play every year in his career and is always a dual threat with his rocket arm and production with his legs. Stefon Diggs always seems to get his when he plays the Pats, and the Buffalo defense is always trouble, as they allowed the 4th least points to opponents last year at 19.1. People may think the Bills are due for regression after their ugly loss to the Bengals at home in the divisional and question Josh Allens playstyle after his turnover troubles in big games. I don’t. I think the Bills will be just fine and come out on top in a tight AFC East once again. Can the Pats split the regular season matchups? We will see.

3. Dallas Cowboys (Week 4)

The Cowboys are coming off a 12-5 season and got better, adding Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore to a roster stacked with talent already. They throttled the Bucs in the wild card, sending Brady into retirement for good, but ran into a better San Francisco team in the divisional round. They finished 4th in points per game last season and 6th in points allowed, led by defensive prodigy Micah Parsons and scoring points by the bunch with Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Tony Pollard, an exciting young back. It will be exciting to watch the race between Dallas and #2 on this list in the NFC East, as the Patriots will have to play their best brand of football to stay afloat with Dallas in an early season matchup.

2. Philadelphia Eagles (Week 1)

Kicking off the Patriots regular season, they will have to take on the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles, what a gift from the NFL. There is not much else to be said about the Eagles other than they were the NFCs one-seed and somehow got better this offseason through the draft and acquiring Deandre Swift to replace Miles Sanders. They were 2nd in the league in scoring and 7th in points allowed last season. Jalen Hurts will be in everyones MVP talks throughout the year, and the roster outside of him is stellar, with big names such as AJ Brown, Devonta Smith and Darius Slay. The Eagles will be back with a vengence after losing the Super Bowl in the final minutes, and they are the favorite to be back in the big game on the NFC side. This could very well be a rough game to start the year for the Pats.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (Week 15)

The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs have been at the top of the standings ever since 2-time MVP and 2-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes took over. They are the class of the NFL and the AFC, and it is really confusing to see when they lose games. Andy Reid is probably the best coach in the NFL, and the roster stays mostly the same even after losing Juju to the Pats. Mahomes will take any recieving core far, much like we saw with Brady, he is one of those talents. The defense has it’s issues, but if teams can’t stop your offense then it isn’t a big deal. This game will be a huge test for the Patriots late into the season to see where they’re at and if they can stay competitive with the best-of-the-best. The Chiefs are the favorite to win the Super Bowl again (+600 on Draftkings as of June 1) and nobody should be surprised.

Win Total Bet and Record Prediction

There is reason for optimism for these years Patriots, but with the hardest schedule in the league, they will be put to the test in all of their games, especially within their division and facing the two past Super Bowl teams in a single year. People are writing off the Patriots already, but a top 10 defense and improved offensive playcalling under the greatest coach ever should make them think twice. I see the Patriots going 8-9 this season realistically, their floor is 6-11 and their ceiling is 10-7. September can’t come soon enough.

Patriots over 7.5 Wins in Regular Season (+105)

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Ryan Markham, Boston
Ryan Markham, Bostonhttp://gametimesharks.com
Ryan Markham is an aspriring sports writer out of Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Ryan is a rising senior student at Westfield State , who is pursuing a degree in Communications with a concentration of Communication and Culture.

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