The remaining New England Patriots games are ranked from easiest to hardest
The playoffs are likely out of the question for the New England Patriots in the second phase of the 2023 season.
But what they do from here on out still matters because it will ultimately determine where they pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. If the season ends before Sunday’s game against the Colts, they will be the No. 5 overall pick in the draft.
Besides identifying draft spots, the rest of the year is about evaluating the talent on the roster and seeing if it’s worth keeping that talent long-term. No one likes the word rebuilding, but the Patriots are in an excellent position to start over at multiple places on the roster, including players and coaches.
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New England entered the season with the toughest schedule in the NFL, and aside from some winnable games, things aren’t going to get much easier on the back end.
Here are the Patriots’ remaining games on the schedule, ranked from easiest to most difficult:
8. Week 12 – New York Giants
If you thought things in New England were bad, the Giants are starting an undrafted rookie quarterback in Tommy DeVito for a team with a worse scoring attack than the Patriots.
This matchup presents a huge dilemma for those hoping the Patriots will destroy the season on the ground. They might not be able to lose to this Giants team even if they tried.
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7. Week 16 – Denver Broncos
The Broncos somehow ended a 16-game losing streak to the Kansas City Chiefs, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re still a team with a lot of problems.
Their offense has not lived up to expectations, and although the defense has played better in recent weeks, they are still allowing more total yards than any other team in the league. This is the same team that gave up 70 points to the Miami Dolphins, 28 points to the Chicago Bears, and 31 points to the New York Jets in consecutive weeks.
6. Week 10 – Indianapolis Colts
An international trip to Germany against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday may be just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Patriots.
Indy’s underrated offense could be a handful for the Patriots’ depleted defense, but then again, the Colts’ defense is allowing an average of 26.9 points per game, which is currently tied for third-worst in the league.
This is one of the few defenses in the league that Mac Jones and the Patriots offense should be able to exploit.
5. Week 18 – New York Jets
This is arguably the easiest game remaining on the Patriots’ schedule. The Patriots have owned the Zach Wilson-led Jets in their last five head-to-head meetings. Bad things seem to happen when Wilson meets Bill Belichick’s defense, which sacked him 14 times and intercepted seven passes in those games.
4. Week 14 – Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers don’t scare anyone on the offensive side of the ball, and that alone provides at least a little hope for the Patriots in this matchup. However, TJ Watt and Pittsburgh’s brutal defense will be a big problem for New England next month.
Their ability to raise the temperature under center and destroy opposing quarterbacks is Mac Jones’ worst nightmare come true, especially when playing behind a makeshift offensive line.
3. Week 13 – Los Angeles Chargers
Things started out shaky for the Chargers, but they were able to turn it around. They once again look like one of the strongest teams in the league and a potential AFC contender.
They have a consistent pass rush to give the Patriots shifts, and on the offensive side of the ball, they have quarterback Justin Herbert and a host of weapons to run the scoreboard. The only good news is that this game will be played at Gillette Stadium.
2. Week 17 – Buffalo Bills
This is a revenge game that could get ugly for the Patriots. The Bills will want to make up for their upset loss to New England earlier in the season, and will also likely be playing for a better playoff position.
So, while the Patriots may look to package him late in the season, this could end up being a meaningful matchup for one of the most dangerous teams in the league.
1. Week 15 – Kanas City Chiefs
Patriots fans are certainly not looking forward to seeing Patrick Mahomes and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs come to Foxboro this season.
It might have been interesting if the Patriots were at full strength. Their defensive unit has been beaten to hell, the offense lacks good talent and is underperforming. This current version of the Patriots is in no shape or form designed to compete with the best team in football. Best New England Patriots Promo Betting Codes and Bonuses | Best Patriots Betting Sites New England Patriots Odds Tracker: Latest Patriots betting lines, futures and Super Bowl odds