NFL Win Totals: Will the Patriots Bounce Back?

Zack Bussiere
Zack Bussiere@ZackBussiere

The New England Patriots ended the 2022 season with an 8-9 record, finishing third in the AFC East and ninth in the AFC.

Their win total for 2023 is set at 7.5, per the NFL win totals at FanDuel Sportsbook.

After some key changes to their coaching staff this offseason, New England is looking to bounce back in a tough AFC East.

Will the Patriots surpass their listed win total in 2023?

All NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

New England Patriots 2023 Outlook

Projected Win Total: 7.5

  • Over: +100
  • Under: -122

Odds to Make the Playoffs: +235
Odds to Win the AFC East: +750
Odds to Win the AFC: +3000
Odds to Win the Super Bowl: +5500

Key Offseason Coaching Changes:

  • Offensive Coordinator: Bill O'Brien in for Matt Patricia and Joe Judge

Why New England Could Win Over 7.5 Games

  • The Defense is For Real
  • Mac Jones Gets Back on Track
  • A Dynamic Run Game

The Patriots' struggles on offense last season have been well documented, but they were still able to nearly make the playoffs thanks to a defense that allowed the 11th-fewest points (347) in the league. The issue for New England is that half of those performances came against a long list of below-average quarterbacks. In the Patriots' eight wins last season, the quarterback who threw the most passes for the opposition was Mitchell Trubisky, Jared Goff, Jacoby Brissett, Sam Ehlinger, Colt McCoy, Skylar Thompson, and Zach Wilson (twice).

This season, the defense will need to hold up against a list of signal-callers that is expected to be drastically better than the ones they faced in 2022. Regardless of how much the offense improves under Bill O'Brien, the most likely path to the Patriots winning more than 7.5 games is a defense that holds high-flying offenses like the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Aaron Rodgers-led New York Jets in check.

If the defense continues to do its job, the next step is for Mac Jones to play more like he did his rookie season and less like he did his sophomore campaign.

As a rookie, Jones completed 352 of 521 (67.6%) pass attempts for 3,801 yards (7.3 yards per attempt), 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. Last season, he regressed, completing 288 of 442 (65.2%) pass attempts for 2,997 yards (6.8 yards per attempt), 14 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in three fewer games played. O'Brien being in charge of the offense should help, but Jones needs to prove that last season's decline was primarily due to Matt Patricia, not his own faults.

Finally, the path to over 7.5 wins runs through the Patriots' run game, starting with Rhamondre Stevenson. Stevenson was excellent in his sophomore season in 2022, turning 210 carries into 1,040 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and 5 rushing touchdowns, with 69 receptions on 88 targets for 421 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown. His 69 receptions were the third-most among running backs while his 421 receiving yards ranked seventh. If Stevenson continues on his current trajectory, he could develop into an elite dual-threat back for New England. Doing so would provide them with an excellent complement to their defense.

Why New England Could Win Under 7.5 Games

  • A Difficult schedule
  • Lack of Talent at Wide Receiver
  • Mac Jones Continues to Struggle

The Patriots have the toughest schedule via 2023 win totals thanks in large part to the strength of the AFC East. The Bills, Dolphins, and Jets all rank inside the top-12 in Super Bowl odds, according to the Super Bowl Odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, and inside the top six in AFC Championship odds.

Outside of the AFC East, New England will have to face a list of opponents that includes the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, and Los Angeles Chargers. The Patriots could improve on both sides of the ball this season and still have a difficult time beating the majority of the teams on their schedule.

Another potential issue for the Patriots is a lack of elite talent at wide receiver. New England signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki in free agency, but the pass-catching group still lacks a true number-one option. Tyquan Thornton improving in his second season would be a huge help. This could all change if New England signs DeAndre Hopkins, but as it stands, there is still plenty of uncertainty with this group.

Uncertainty isn't helpful to Jones, who is trying to bounce back from a 2022 season where he regressed in nearly every category. While he could rebound and look more like he did his rookie season, there is also a very real possibility he continues to struggle. If Jones plays similarly to how he did last season, the Patriots will have a difficult time winning over 7.5 games, even with an improved defense and a fresh play-caller on offense.

The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.