Where Do The Patriots Rank In Key Areas In The Dynamic AFC Heading Into 2022

July 27, 2022
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After making the playoffs for the first time since Tom Brady’s departure, the Patriots are looking to build a perennial playoff contender. However, many AFC teams improved during the off-season. The talent in the AFC is through the roof, and it seems like each top team in the AFC has a chance at winning a Super Bowl. Today we’ll see where the Patriots rank in critical areas in the AFC.

Coaching: First In The AFC

Without a doubt, the Patriots have the best coach in the AFC and even in the NFL. Belichick can adapt and make adjustments like no other coach, and he has a field day against young quarterbacks, which is abundant in the AFC. Belichick has a notorious reputation for making young quarterbacks struggle against his defenses, and it doesn’t look like that will change. Nevertheless, Belichick is the clear-cut best coach in the division, followed by Andy Reid and John Harbaugh.

One can make a case that the Patriots aren’t as talented as the top teams in the AFC, which is valid. However, coaching is one of the most critical factors in the NFL, and the Patriots have a massive advantage. However many games the Patriots win or lose, it is guaranteed that they will have the coaching advantage.

Quarterback: Eighth In The AFC

Mac Jones’ rank can change very quickly because he’s entering only his second year, and there is a good chance he can develop. However, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and arguably Derek Carr are all better. Mac has the advantage over quarterbacks like Ryan Tannehill and Matt Ryan because he is likely to overtake them in 2022.

Mac came into camp in great shape, and his arm strength looks to have taken a massive leap. There are lots of signs pointing to a giant leap in Mac’s game, so it’s safe to say there is a good chance Mac’s rank as a quarterback will increase in 2022.

Rushing Attack: Fourth In The AFC

The Patriots have a great group of running backs and the best depth at running back in the league. Usually, they should be ranked higher, but with Mac Jones’ development, there is a possibility that the team leans more towards the passing game. Also, specific teams built their entire offense around running the ball. Those teams are ranked ahead of the Patriots: the Colts, Titans, and Ravens.

The Patriots still have an elite rushing attack, but they may trust Mac Jones since he’s entering his second year. The Patriots have the potential to be a very balanced offense that can hurt opposing defenses through passing and running the football.

Passing Offense: Seventh In The AFC

As mentioned before, the AFC is loaded with talent. Multiple quarterbacks in the AFC are MVP caliber, and there are plenty of explosive offenses. Assuming a healthy leap, the Patriots won’t be that much behind in terms of offensive talent. The teams with a better passing offense than the Patriots are the Bills, Bengals, Raiders, Chargers, Chiefs, and Broncos. Teams like the Ravens and Colts are very run-dominant, and Mac is a better quarterback than Tua, which gives them the advantage over the Dolphins.

Overall, the Patriots have a lot of potential to be a well-run offense. Some key players will need to develop more for 2022, but the Patriots’ passing offense is in a good spot heading into next season.

Defense: Fifth In The AFC

The defense has always been a strength for the Patriots. Similar to the quarterback situation, the Patriots’ ranking can skyrocket. The Patriots saw the departure of star cornerback J.C. Jackson, and until we can see how their other cornerbacks step up, there can’t be really much of a ranking.

The teams that have a better defense than the Patriots are the Bills, Chargers, Steelers, and Colts. Again, these rankings can change very quickly if the Patriots’ young talent develops.

Overall

Overall, the Patriots have a young, talented roster with great coaching. Most of the Patriots’ playoff hopes hang on Mac Jones’ development. The Patriots have another level they can hit. If they are able to, expect them back in the playoffs.

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