The New England Patriots haven’t had the successful and quick rebuild that many expected them since Tom Brady left for greener pastures and better sunshine. Since Brady left, the Pats have failed to win the AFC East division and have actually finished third in two of the three seasons. Between Cam Newton and Mac Jones, it doesn’t appear that Bill Belichek has found his great successor post-Brady either.
Things don’t appear to be looking up for New England anytime soon either. Despite finishing at 8-9 and third place in the AFC East last season, Sharp Football Analysis has deemed that the Patriots are set to have the hardest schedule in the NFL next year. Their prediction is based on Vegas oddsmaker’s projections for win totals for opponents.
With the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets all improving rapidly and racing past the Patriots in terms of talent, there’s a very strong chance that New England could wind up winless within their divisional games next season. With two games against each divisional rival, that’s at least four losses that fans can expect to be added to their final record if not six.
The AFC East also drew the AFC West for their conference games next season, meaning that the lowly Pats have the pleasure of playing both Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs this upcoming year, as well as Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.
While the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders should make for winnable games, it’ll be a far cry for New England to finish any better than 2-2 against the AFC West.
NFL teams with the hardest schedules in 2023:
The most brutal stretch of the Patriots schedule might just be at the start, as there’s a very real chance that New England begins their 2023 campaign 0-4. They’ll begin the season with a matchup against a hungry Philadelphia Eagles team looking for vindication after a crushing Super Bowl loss.
Then, they get two straight division games against the Miami Dolphins at home, and then the New York Jets on the road. Finally, they meet the Dallas Cowboys in Texas on October 1st.
While it’s not a guarantee, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see Bill Belichek’s squad start off the year winless for four straight weeks. Tom Brady will certainly be enjoying his retirement while watching his former team get crushed for the first quarter of the season in his first year out of the NFL.
Before the full schedule is released…
Every team's strength of schedule in 2023. ⬇️
— NFL (@NFL) May 11, 2023
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| Title: The New England Patriots have one of the hardest schedules in the NFL in 2023
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: July 12, 2023