New England Patriots

Perry's Game-By-Game Predictions for Patriots' 2023 Season

Now that the schedule is out, let's roll through it game by game and take a stab at the final result after 18 weeks

Perry's game-by-game predictions for Patriots' 2023 schedule originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It's easy from where we sit, isn't it? We can generate predictions of all types on a weekly (daily? hourly?) basis if we want to. The internet space is there. Who are we not to try to fill it?

We'll do several 53-man roster predictions before September. Easy. We assembled seven-round mock drafts like they were journal entries through April. 

Now -- to steal a line -- we're on to the regular season.

Patriots Talk: Ranking the QBs the Patriots will face in ‘23 with Matt Cassel  | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

The assumption is the Patriots will put an improved product on the field in 2023 after a rocky 2022 that left them out of the postseason for the second time in three years. Bill O'Brien is in. The offense added a proven pass-catcher in Mike Gesicki. They made a change at offensive tackle. They drafted a high-end talent to be their big-bodied boundary corner

Yes, they're better. But will their record be?

Now that the schedule is out, let's roll through it game by game and take a stab at the final result after 18 weeks.

Patriots 2023 schedule
NBC Sports Boston

Week 1: Philadelphia Eagles at Patriots

Tom Brady will be in the house. The crowd will be juiced. But so too will be the Eagles after they missed out on a Lombardi Trophy in February.

The Patriots were excellent against traditional running games in 2022 but had a heckuva time bottling up Justin Fields and Lamar Jackson. History may repeat itself against Jalen Hurts. Even if Hurts is slowed, can Christian Gonzalez handle AJ Brown in his first game as a pro? This is a tough one for the season-opener. 

Final score: Eagles 28, Patriots 20

Patriots' record: 0-1

Week 2: Miami Dolphins at Patriots (Sunday Night Football)

The Patriots will be thankful that this game is at home and not in South Florida in early September. They're not looking for another 100-degree early-season matchup with a tough divisional opponent.

This game remains difficult, though. The Dolphins defense was one of the best in football against the run last year. They've added Jalen Ramsey. They've added Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator. Not an awesome development for Mac Jones and his offensive teammates.

Points will be hard to come by. This is a spot where the Patriots could use a defensive or special-teams score -- of which there were many last year -- in order to pull it out. 

Final score: Patriots 17, Dolphins 16

Patriots' record: 1-1

Week 3: Patriots at New York Jets

Aaron Rodgers gets his first crack at Bill Belichick in front of a home Jets crowd.

I'm fascinated to know what it looks like early in Jersey for this team. Do they get out of the gates hot? Or are there a few hiccups we weren't expecting, the way there were for Tom Brady in Tampa when he lost to the Saints and Bears in his first five games with the Bucs? This series feels like it's due for a split.

Final score: Jets 23, Patriots 20

Patriots' record: 1-2


Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers is an even .500 (2-2) against the Patriots in his NFL career.

Week 4: Patriots at Dallas Cowboys

Wouldn't have been surprising to see this one bump up against the Raiders game in Vegas, allowing the Patriots an opportunity to stay away from home for an extended period instead of making multiple long trips out West.

Not the case. Instead they finish up a daunting first month of the schedule against an offense that should be high-powered but will have a new look with new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. This will be an excellent football game. Not an excellent result for the Patriots. 

Final score: Cowboys 24, Patriots 23

Patriots' record: 1-3

Week 5: New Orleans Saints at Patriots

This matchup might qualify as a breath of fresh air after the Patriots' slow start. Derek Carr shouldn't bother them defensively. Offensively they will have had time to get guys like Gesicki and JuJu Smith-Schuster up to speed on how their offense is supposed to work.

They'll have their work cut out for them to make the postseason after starting 1-3 in this scenario, but their push has to include a win here against an incredibly beatable Saints team.

Final score: Patriots 24, Saints 17

Patriots' record: 2-3

Week 6: Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders

Understanding that it's early -- OK, very early -- this feels like a swing game. Win it? (And it is winnable.) Maybe have a winning record by season's end and sneak into the playoffs. Lose it? Maybe you're on the outside looking in come January.

The Raiders made a lateral move at quarterback while increasing their injury risk there. They still have lingering questions on defense and along their offensive line. They improved their receiver group adding Jakobi Meyers, but this will be another tightly-contested affair that the Patriots will end up eeking out. They're the more significantly-improved team from last year's wild meeting.

Final score: Patriots 23, Raiders 20

Patriots' record: 3-3

Mac Jones
Mac Jones and the Patriots will be seeking redemption after a heartbreaking loss in Las Vegas last season.

Week 7: Buffalo Bills at Patriots

The Patriots are better equipped to handle Josh Allen and his weapons this season if Christian Gonzalez can function as a true "No. 1" as a rookie. But their talent offensively still seems difficult for New England to slow down.

Adding tight end Dalton Kincaid in the first round could end up being a game-changer for the Bills, allowing them to run more 12-personnel packages on the field and forcing the Patriots to make some difficult decisions about committing to the run or running lighter pass-specific groupings onto the field.

The Patriots' safety depth will help them here -- will they be getting contributions from third-rounder Marte Mapu by this point in the year? -- but the Bills still have elite-level firepower. 

Final score: Bills 27, Patriots 21

Patriots' record: 3-4

Week 8: Patriots at Dolphins

By now, the Dolphins have come close to mastering Fangio's defense. The question will be whether Tua Tagovailoa is still healthy. Or if his line is healthy. They're already a thin group. An injury or two could spell doom for their offense.

But in this scenario we'll project full health -- it's not as though this is a Week 17 meeting -- which is bad news for the Patriots.

Final score: Dolphins 21, Patriots 19

Patriots' record: 3-5

Week 9: Washington Commanders at Patriots

Here's another game -- the first of two in a row -- that the Patriots simply cannot lose if they plan to be in contention for a playoff berth. And they won't.

Quarterback Sam Howell's head will be spinning two drives into the affair, and even if the Patriots running game has a hard time getting going against the Commanders, the Washington defense will be gassed in the second half with its offense stuck in neutral. 

Final score: Patriots 28, Commanders 10

Patriots' record: 4-5

Week 10: Indianapolis Colts at Patriots (in Germany)

If the Patriots don't have the quarterback-centric-run-game thing figured out by this point in the season, this one could be a little scarier than it should be. It's a "home" game nearly 4,000 miles away. It'll be 9:30 AM back at home, so body clocks will be discombobulated. Weird things could happen.

But Anthony Richardson won't be able to replicate what Justin Fields did to New England last season, and the Patriots will see an offensive explosion -- exceeding 30 points for the first time in 10 weeks -- to creep back to .500 right before their bye week.

Final score: Patriots 31, Colts 23

Patriots' record: 5-5

Week 12:* Patriots at New York Giants

*(Week 11: Bye)

This should be a matchup of a refreshed team versus a battered one. The Giants have a Week 13 bye this season, meaning they could be limping to their break when they host the Patriots in late November.

The Giants were a playoff team last year, but they aren't potent enough offensively to bother a unit that will have established itself as one of the stingiest defenses in football by this point in the year. 

Final score: Patriots 28, Giants 17

Patriots' record: 6-5

Week 13: Los Angeles Chargers at Patriots

At some point the Chargers have to break through, right? Right? Justin Herbert is surrounded by weapons after his club invested a first-round pick in receiver Quentin Johnston, which should help him continue to grow into one of the league's most dangerous playmakers at the position.

If Jones can efficiently pick apart Chargers coach Brandon Staley's two-high defensive looks with underneath throws, the Patriots will keep it close. But this could be the game where it's made apparent that the Patriots don't have enough in the way of offensive weapons to beat a talented defense. If that's the case, count on J.C. Jackson letting his old club hear about it after the fact.

Final score: Chargers 26, Patriots 20

Patriots' record: 6-6

J.C. Jackson
J.C. Jackson will be seeking revenge against his former club in this matchup.

Week 14: Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (Thursday night)

The Patriots held Mitchell Trubisky and the Steelers to 14 points in Week 2 of last season. This year they'll get Kenny Pickett, who is better now than he was in Year 1. Same goes for second-year wideout George Pickens.

But this will be a battle of underwhelming offense on both sides. T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith will give Patriots tackles a difficult game. Christian Barmore, Matthew Judon and rookie Keion White will make a mess of a talent-deficient Steelers offensive line (even with first-round pick Broderick Jones in the mix). Sloppy game. Sloppy weather. Take the under.

Final score: Patriots 13, Steelers 10

Patriots' record: 7-6

Week 15: Kansas City Chiefs at Patriots (Monday night)

No better team to see after a meager offensive output than the one that projects to be one of the most efficient offenses in football, right?

In the JuJu Smith-Schuster Revenge Game, Smith-Schuster will be held to fewer than 50 yards receiving. While Bill Belichick, Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick will have a creative plan drawn up for Patrick Mahomes, he'll get his eventually -- including some key scrambles late -- and Kansas City will pull away in prime time. 

Final score: Chiefs 27, Patriots 23

Patriots' record: 7-7

Week 16: Patriots at Denver Broncos (Sunday night)

If you assume Jones will be a better quarterback with better coaching in 2023, the same logic should apply to Russell Wilson, shouldn't it? The difference is one player wants to be coached. The other? Hard to tell.

If the Patriots can run it on Denver's front -- and steer clear of one of the best young corners in the game in Patrick Surtain II -- they'll claim this Christmas Eve showdown. The Broncos had the 21st defense in football last year in rush EPA.

Final score: Patriots 24, Broncos 17

Patriots' record: 8-7

Week 17: Patriots at Bills

Another late-season tilt in Buffalo. The Patriots won't allow two kickoffs for touchdowns this time. But they'll have trouble keeping up on the scoreboard in frigid temperatures as their run game grinds to a halt.

It's worth wondering how Rhamondre Stevenson looks at this point in the year. Last season, he seemed to be run ragged by the late regular season, and that was with Damien Harris taking some of the load off his shoulders. This year, the Patriots have less in the way of proven depth at running back. Something to monitor for a team that once again appears as though it will revolve around its running back and its talented young back.

Final score: Bills 20, Patriots 17

Patriots' record: 8-8

Week 18: Jets at Patriots

It all comes down to this. Win and they're in... potentially. Nine wins would've landed the Patriots in the postseason last year. That may not be the case in 2023, but they'll have to hope it is in this scenario.

They've got a shot. Although this isn't your father's late-season Jets matchup. This is Aaron Rodgers. After a year-long surge to (let's estimate) double-digit wins, during which he and his young offensive teammates have had a chance to gel.

But where Belichick's special-teamers let them down late last year in the finale, this time around Cam Achord's group will get a return score from Marcus Jones to win the game and help the Patriots squeak into the playoffs.

Final score: Patriots 23, Jets 21

Patriots' final record: 9-8

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