The beginning of football, less than 100 days away, has many improvements in the team’s division. The Bills are a constant emerging threat, the Dolphins added Tyreek Hill to their potent offense, and the Jets are taking advantage of the draft and slowly rebuilding to a solid young team.
With hope slowly thinning, there could still be a chance for the Patriots to succeed and make improvements to reign supreme within the AFC. This article aims to achieve what they must do against each team to take over the division again.
New York Jets
Although the Jets arent much of a threat, they aren’t to be taken lightly. Zach Wilson didn’t have the best rookie season and did get injured. However, the future may look promising for him with Corey Davis and the additions of Garret Wilson, Elijah Moore, and Breece Hall.
The Jets also grabbed some critical positions for improvements in the draft for defense, such as Sauce Gardner and Jermaine Johnson III, to improve their defensive unit.
However, the Patriots have had the Jets’ number for a long time and will most likely continue. The Jets have been slowly rebuilding, but it may not be enough. The Patriots are extremely deep at the skill position and have a lot they can do with their talent. Using the rest of the mismatches on the Jets’ defense is the way to beat them with scoring.
Wilson also has a pretty poor offensive line, so blitzing him may be the proper solution on defense. At the same time, New England will have some of the smaller, quicker defensive backs they acquired on the field to cover the Jets’ new receivers. These games don’t project to be blowouts; however, New England should still win the season series.
The Dolphins recently added Tyreek Hill to the roster, adding improvements to Tua’s targets. Tua now has Tyreek, Mike Gesicki, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson in their arsenal.
Miami, however, is still short of a dominant running back, but Mike McDaniel is a wizard at creating run schemes, so this offense has a chance to be very dynamic. The most significant factor is if McDaniel is ready to take on the challenge because they certainly have the talent.
Playing man defense with twitchy defensive backs such as Jonathan Jones, Jalen Mills, and Jabrill Peppers step up and play tight, physical, and fundamentally sound should be able to shut down the Miami offense. Also, Matt Judon must show up and get Tua’s jersey dirty.
Their defense is also, with Byron Jones and Xavien Howard on the team, will make it hard for the passing to succeed. However, with the loss of Van Noy, their linebackers are weak, allowing the running game to succeed and dominate on their weak interior defense. These could be games where New England leans on the Running Back group more to win.
It’s also crucial that the Patriots win in Miami, considering they usually don’t, and that game could be a wild card tiebreaker.
The Bills will most likely be the biggest problem the Patriots have, especially with Von Miller as one of many improvements on the defense. However, Josh Allen is also a balanced Quarterback who can handle the blitz, be fast on his feet, throw truck sticks and use diverse targets such as Steffon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and Dawson Knox.
Stefon Diggs is the biggest threat, always torching the Patriots’ defense. So a cornerback needs to step up and lock down Diggs to force Allen to rely on other options.
Mac Jones didn’t do terribly in keeping up with the Bills’ prolific offense. A significant issue was that New England lacked impactful speed and consistent playmaking at the skill positions to stay in the last two games they played Buffalo. Now with the additions of Tyquan Thornton
The biggest concern is stopping Josh Allen, who can be dangerous in any game aspect. The best way to do that is to lock up all his receivers while containing Allen behind the line of scrimmage. The main component in doing this is speed and tackling, which the Patriots have brought in with Peppers, the rookie Cornerbacks, and Mack Wilson.
Even if the Patriots fail against one of these teams, they can easily have the wild card spot if they contain Miami this year. It’s going to be a strange and whole new season with new coaches, receivers, and defensive players on the field. However, many could be significant improvements to the team.
Bill made some underrated additions, such as Davante Parker and Jabril Peppers, so hopefully, they are the answer to the team’s missing pieces.
Hopefully, we can expect the Patriots to make it back into the playoffs, make improvements, and make a further push to win their seventh super bowl championship.
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