After getting blasted in the wild card round by the Bills, the Patriots head into this season with plenty of questions.
One big one is how will they replace offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
McDaniels took the Las Vegas Raiders head coach job and now the offense that saw Jones flourish will be different.
New England will take an unorthodox approach to their offense.
Former Lions head coach, Matt Patricia, who has spent his whole career as a defensive coach, will call plays in New England.
Patricia struggled in Detroit, so it will be interesting to see how he does in a new role.
The Patriots offense will be unknown this season, but that is only one reason why they will struggle this year.
Lack Of Skill Players
New England struggled last season in finding consistent skill players.
Their pass catchers and running backs are rather unknown, and they did nothing to address the issue.
Mac Jones going to deep to Nelson Agholor! @MacJones_10
— NFL (@NFL) August 19, 2022
While those are some good players, none of them strike fear in a defense.
Jones is not a mobile quarterback so he has to rely on his skilled players to make all the plays.
The new offensive coordinator and lack of skilled players are going to make it hard for them to win any type of shootout.
They will once again be forced to rely on Belichick’s defense.
Loss Of J.C. Jackson
The best defensive player on the Patriots last season was cornerback J.C Jackson.
After not coming to a contract extension in the offseason, Jackson signed with the Los Angeles Chargers.
Jackson finished second in the NFL with eight interceptions last year and was the Patriots’ most impactful player.
New England has the second-best defense last season in points allowed per game.
Also, the fourth-best defense in yards allowed per game with 310.8.
After, losing Jackson, both of those numbers should be expected to go up in 2022.
The AFC Has Gotten Stronger
The Patriots are also faced with a division and conference that has gotten stronger.
The Jets are a year older with their young core, and the Bills might be the best team in football.
Odds to win the AFC East, via BetMGM:
Buffalo is the second-biggest divisional favorite behind the Bucs.
— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) August 24, 2022
Also, some of the teams New England has to play this year include the Bengals, Raiders, and Packers.
All of them have better quarterback and skill players than the Patriots.
According to Sharp Football Analysis, the Patriots face the 8th toughest schedule in the NFL this season.
Their win total is also set at 8.5 wins.
In a conference as tough as the AFC, you will need at least 10 wins to get into the playoffs.
New England might not realize it yet, but they are in more of a rebuild than they are willing to admit.
The deck is stacked against the Patriots this year and it is an uphill climb for them to return to the playoffs.