f the oddsmakers in Las Vegas are correct, New England Patriots fans could be in for a rough season.
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The days of the Patriots being guaranteed to make the playoffs are long gone. Those days ended when Tom Brady decided to leave New England and ended up down south with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But the Patriots are coming off a 2021 season where they went 10-7 and got eliminated in the Wild Card round. Mac Jones excelled in his rookie season and Matthew Judon was dominant on defense.
Still, oddsmakers believe that 2022 will not treat New England kindly. The Patriots are favorites at -200 to miss the playoffs.
“New England is a prohibitive favorite to be on the outside looking in at season’s end, which tells you DraftKings doesn’t expect Bill Belichick’s bunch to build off last season’s 10-7 record,” writes Sam Panayotovich. That said, if you’re willing to zig while they zag, you’ll be rewarded with a nice payout if the Patriots exceed expectations.”
Panayotovich goes on to say that the best odds are that New England loses in the Wildcard or Divisional Round.
How Has New England Improved This Offseason?
The Patriots have made improvements on both sides of the ball. New England’s biggest addition has to be DeVante Parker.
Parker will look to unlock the Patriots offense with his ability to take the top off of defenses. He comes to New England and is now the only wide receiver on the roster to have ever recorded a 1,000-yard season.
On defense, the Patriots also made some moves but they aren’t of the same caliber as Parker. New England signed Malcolm Butler to replace J.C. Jackson. The Patriots also acquired Jabril Peppers and Mack Wilson Sr.
Peppers and Wilson will be looking for a career revitalization in New England. Wilson was acquired via a trade with the Cleveland Browns that saw Chase Winovich head to Ohio. Wilson struggled in 2021 as he played 14 games and only had 42 tackles while failing to register a sack.
What Could Cause New England to Struggle?
The Patriots have one of the toughest schedules in the entire NFL. New England has matchups against the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens in the AFC along with the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals in the NFC.
With Judon’s great performance in 2021 along Jackson being one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, New England relied on its defense to do a lot of the heavy lifting. If the Patriots decide to do that again in 2022, they likely won’t have the same success.
New England will be putting a ton of pressure on Mac Jones in just his second season in 2022. The Patriots no longer have Josh McDaniels and will have a new look offense this season. If Jones is able to succeed it will be a testament to how talented of a player he is.
So 2022 will likely be a tough season for New England and if they are simply able to make the playoffs, they will be defying the odds.