Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday through Sept. 2, we will take a look at the projected win totals for each team in the NFL.
NOTE: All over/under win totals are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
2021 record: 10-7, second in AFC East; lost to Buffalo, 47-17, in the wild-card round
2022 bye week: 10
Most impactful additions: T Trent Brown, RG Cole Strange (first round of draft), WR DeVante Parker
Most impactful departures: C/G Ted Karras, G Shaq Mason, DB JC Jackson
Easiest part(s) of schedule: From Weeks 5 to 12, New England will play Detroit, at Cleveland, Chicago, at the Jets and Indianapolis before their bye week then home for the Jets and at Minnesota. Can they go 6-1 here? They might have to if they are going to top expectations.
Toughest part(s) of schedule: From Dec. 1 through the end. The final six-game stretch starts and ends with the Super Bowl-favorite Buffalo Bills, who could be rolling by December – or could be in a dogfight with these Patriots. There also are back-to-back road games at Arizona and a Las Vegas team that should be in the playoff mix around Christmas.
Weeks 3 and 4 vs. Baltimore and at Green Bay could be a potential stumbling block.
Caesars over/under win total (as of Aug. 3): 8.5 – Over -130 / Under +110; odds to win Super Bowl LVII at +4000.
Book it: OVER. Funny how one team in the division could vastly improve their roster and face a regression, while another could be stagnant (at best) and potentially take another step in their progression.
So is the case with Miami (projected record of 7-10) and New England, which we think will at least equal last year’s mark. In this case, it’s all in the scheduling, and the Patriots have it much easier than do the Dolphins.
Although there are changes in the offensive line, it’s tough to judge in July whether the unit will be worse or better than it was in 2021. One thing we know is Mac Jones should take the next step in his career, as Bill Belichick seems to have found the quarterback he’ll finish his career with.
Adding Parker is a big deal with this receiving corps, and their running back duo of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson already was one of the better backfields in the AFC. And you can always count on Belichick’s defense to be tough-nosed and a strength, especially with one of the best backfields in the league.
I’m not sure this team will advance past the wild-card round, but they won’t get thumped like they did last year. (Most likely, they won’t have to open up the playoffs again against Buffalo.)
Despite the -130 price, this is one total I definitely will be playing. I might even put a couple bucks down on that +4000.
Projected finish: 10-7