The New England Patriots are finally set to begin the 2023 regular season. But what, exactly, will the team look like when they actually take the field?
Biggest difference will easily come on the offensive side of the ball. Offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has installed his system as the team’s new playbook, after a disastrous 2022 season torpedoed by the inexperience and ineptitude of Matt Patricia running the offense. And it certainly seems like O’Brien has clicked with quarterback Mac Jones, the receiving corps has bought in, and they’re all pulling in the same direction.
The overall operation is virtually guaranteed to run smoother than 2022, and should almost certainly improve upon their 26th-ranked offensive touchdowns per game (1.8). But the lineup itself, and how it’s deployed, will definitely show a lot of new wrinkles that we haven’t seen in Mac Jones’ career.
Defensively, you can more-or-less expect a continuation of what they’ve been doing for several years. Lots and lots of “Nickel” (five defensive backs), lots of versatility. And they’ve really built up a dynamic pass-rushing group in recent years to pair with a still-deep secondary.
The Patriots defense retained most of their personnel from 2022 to 2023, save for the departure of the retired Devin McCourty. So, the unit will look a lot different in that regard. But we’re expecting the overall approach to be about the same as we’re used to seeing – just with more youth, and perhaps more explosiveness.
With all that in mind, here are the projected base lineups for the 2023 New England Patriots on both offense and defense. NOTE: these are not official lineups or reports, but merely an educated guess based on our coverage throughout the summer, and the lineups that the Pats already put on film in the preseason.