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Patriots predicted as last-place finisher in AFC East in 2023

Oh, how times have changed in the AFC East.

The Buffalo Bills are the current three-time defending AFC East champions.

The Bills still have a long way to go if they are going to match the New England Patriots. They won 11 straight and 16 of 17 titles between 2003 and 2018.

But since the departure of quarterback Tom Brady, life in New England has been very different. It’s projected to get worse, too.

CBS Sports predicted the last-place finisher in each NFL division ahead of the 2023 season. For the AFC East?

The Pats are the pick.

In 2022, the New York Jets finished at the bottom of the AFC East. However, they are expected to improve after the addition of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Truthfully, the Pats projection isn’t exactly the boldest of predictions. It’s still a beautiful sight to see.

Here’s CBS Sports’ breakdown on why the Patriots will finish last in the AFC East:

The Patriots aren’t a bad team. Their defense is elite: head coach Bill Belichick’s bunch had 30 takeaways, tied for the second-most in the league last season with the 49ers, trailing only the Cowboys’ NFL-best 33, and they were a top-10 total defense in 2022, allowing the eighth-fewest total yards per game (322.0). However, their offense is a gigantic question mark entering 2023 after the dysfunctional tire fire that was Matt Patricia’s 2022 offense.

Mac Jones became only the 10th rookie quarterback in league history to throw for over 3,500 yards (3,801) and 20 or more touchdowns (22) in 2021, leading to a runner-up Offensive Rookie of the Year finish in his first season. Then, he dramatically regressed across the board with a long-time defensive coach as his offensive play-caller. How he will fare in his third season under new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien should be much better, but it’s unclear how much better that will be after such a weird year in 2022.


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Story originally appeared on Bills Wire