It’s game week once again! After a long offseason and two months of teaching and evaluation, the New England Patriots are back in game prep mode, getting ready to host the Philadelphia Eagles in their season opener on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
With it being game week again we’re bringing back the Patriots Mailbag. Thank you to everybody who submitted questions this week!
For the most part this week, the questions aren’t about the Patriots’ upcoming matchup with the Eagles. Instead, they focus more on the full-season picture for this team, in a variety of areas.
From the offensive line to expectations for this year’s rookie class to potential mid-season player acquisitions, you guys have a lot on your minds as the 2023 NFL season gets underway. Let’s get into these questions…
Let's wait until the O line gets a couple of games under their belt before we write them off. The Eagles will be a good test for this somewhat revamped defense where they put a lot of their early draft stock. These 1st 4 games will be a great learning experience for the team.— bryan zukowski (@floes420) September 5, 2023
O.K., this isn’t really a question but it’s a fair point. The offensive line we saw this summer shouldn’t reflect the line the Patriots will have during the season, given they were missing three or four starters for most of camp. That being said, it’s not a totally unfamiliar group either. Four of last year’s five starters return in Trent Brown, Cole Strange, David Andrews, and Mike Onwenu. There was no starter at right tackle this year, with the 2023 team still projected to feature a revolving door at the position only with different players (more on that here).
Was last year’s Patriots offensive line great? No. But it’s hard to imagine them being any worse than they were last year. Again it’s the same group starting, and the depth issues that were present last year remain. It will be up to the three rookies to change that, which brings us to question two…