A Fan’s Thoughts: The New England Patriots


Photo by Evan Fishback

The Patriots close out their Week 17 victory against the Dolphins.

Daniel Botolino, Staff Writer

With the 2022-23 season culminating with the Chiefs taking home the Lombardi Trophy, sadly the Patriots didn’t have as successful of a season. The 2022 New England Patriots season was one filled with frustration. For the second time in three years they missed the playoffs by one game, finishing the season with a record of 8-9. It wasn’t just the losing that caused many Patriots fans, including myself, anger;- it was how they lost. From costly late game mistakes in the Raiders and Bengals games, to an offense that looked like it hadn’t even met in their first meetings with the Dolphins, Bills, and Bears, it was not good. So as we watch the final game of a Patriot-less playoffs and move toward the offseason, let’s take a look at what New England needs to do to make it to the big game in 2024.

At the time of this publishing  the Patriots already made two significant coaching moves, announcing that offensive play caller Matt Patricia would not be returning to the team next season. After that they hired University of Alabama Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien as their new Offensive Coordinator. O’brien was the Patriots OC from 2008-2011 and  this comes as a big relief to many fans as he led an offense that ranked 26th in total yards. 

Something else that would help out Jones is better receivers. The team’s leader in receptions was not a wide receiver this year, it was running back Rhomondre Stevenson. Their receiver with the most receptions was Jakobi Myers who had 67. That ranked 41st in the NFL, which is much lower than they would want. 

The team needs a true star receiver and the one I would like to see them get is Deandre Hopkins. He is currently on the Arizona Cardinals, but it has been reported that he wants to be traded and the Patriots being a team in the opposite conference, that hold a lot of valuable assets seem like the perfect team to trade with. Hopkins had just three less receptions than Myers this season despite Meyers playing four more games. 

On the defensive side, the team was one of the best last season, but I think if they could add another Safety that is strong in coverage that would be a big addition. The team was right around the middle of the league in passing yards allowed last season and they will likely be losing Devin Mcourty to retirement, so if they could add some depth in their secondary, I would be very pleased with that.

The two teams in the Super Bowl this year are made up of a blueprint that the Patriots should follow, obviously Mac Jones is not as good as either Quarterback playing in the big game, but both Qbs have dynamic weapons to throw it to. For the Eagles, A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith were both spectacular and for Kansas City they have the top Tight End in football, Travis Kelce. Having dynamic weapons is a must to win in the NFL and that should be the Patriots main priority this offseason.