The New England Patriots are gearing up for the 2023 NFL season, and their opening preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles on August 10th will be a key opportunity for them to evaluate their progress. Here are six keys to watch for in the game:
- How Mac Jones looks. Jones is entering his second season as the Patriots’ starting quarterback, and he will be looking to build on his strong rookie campaign. He will need to be accurate and decisive in the pocket, and he will also need to be able to make plays outside of the pocket.
- The Patriots’ new offensive weapons. The Patriots made a number of additions to their offensive weapons in the offseason, including wide receivers DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton, tight end James O’Shaughnessy, and running back Ty Montgomery. These new players will be looking to make an impact in their first game with the Patriots.
- The Patriots’ defense. The Patriots’ defense was a major liability in 2022, but they have made some changes in the offseason in an attempt to improve. They added linebacker Mack Wilson and cornerback Marcus Jones in the draft, and they also signed safety Jabrill Peppers. The Patriots’ defense will need to show improvement in the preseason if they want to be a competitive team in 2023.
- The Patriots’ depth. The Patriots have a number of young players who are vying for playing time, and the preseason will be a good opportunity for them to show what they can do. Players like quarterback Bailey Zappe, wide receiver Tre Nixon, and running back Pierre Strong Jr. could all make a case for a roster spot if they play well in the preseason.
- The Patriots’ special teams. The Patriots’ special teams were a major liability in 2022, and they will need to be much better in 2023 if they want to be a successful team. The Patriots will need their punter, kicker, and returners to all play well in the preseason.
- The Patriots’ overall team chemistry. The Patriots have a new head coach in Josh McDaniels, and they will need to gel as a team quickly if they want to be successful in 2023. The preseason will be a good opportunity for the Patriots to build chemistry and get a feel for each other on the field.
The Patriots’ opening preseason game against the Eagles will be a valuable opportunity for them to evaluate their progress and identify areas where they need to improve. The game will also be a good test for the Patriots’ new players and coaches. If the Patriots can play well in the preseason, it will be a good sign for their chances of success in the regular season.