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New England lost key components on the field and the sidelines. Josh McDaniels is no longer offensive coordinator and J.C. Jackson departed for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Still, some analysts aren’t that confident in New England. Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski has predicted that the Patriots will finish the season under .500 with less than nine wins.
Yes, quarterback Mac Jones made the Pro Bowl in his first year,” stated Sobleski. “He deserves credit for that accomplishment, although the Patriots coaching staff greatly protected him as a rookie. While Jones is capable of pushing the ball down the field, Josh McDaniels is no longer his offensive coordinator. The sophomore signal-caller must now turn to…*checks notes*…Joe Judge and Matt Patricia as his top offensive minds. If anything, the Patriots fell a step behind others in the division who did more to address their rosters.”
What is Concerning About the Patriots Roster?
While the Patriots lost Jackson who recorded 17 interceptions in the past two seasons, New England didn’t do a lot to replace him. Malcolm Butler will lead the way after being signed by the Patriots out of retirement this offseason.
New England also acquired Jabrill Peppers and traded for Mack Wilson. The trade was a fresh start for Wilson and Chase Winovich (who was sent to the Cleveland Browns) as both players struggled with their former teams.
As Sobleski put it, these moves don’t move the needle. Patriots fans have been waiting to see if New England would do anything else to boost their defense.
How Have the Patriots Helped Jones?
With the defense losing some major talent, New England’s offense will be under more pressure in 2022. While the Patriots have a top running back in Damien Harris, New England’s passing game leaves a lot to be considered.
The Patriots have made moves to try and help Jones out. New England made a deal with the Miami Dolphins to acquire DeVante Parker who will look to be the Patriots top wide receiver. New England also drafted Tyquan Thornton in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Being the fastest wide receiver in the draft class, Thornton will look to make an impact in his rookie season.
New England also lost Shaq Mason and Ted Karras this offseason. While they did sign Trent Brown and also drafted Cole Strange, the offensive line will be quite young. The likes of Michael Onwenu and Strange will be thrust into starting roles.
So it’s not too surprising to see the Patriots projected to finish under .500 with all the challenges up against them but fans will likely still be disappointed if New England struggles and fails to reach the playoffs.