PFF simulator has Patriots outperforming expectations in 2023


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Opinions on what the 2023 New England Patriots will do vary wildly on the regional and national level. Some believe the Pats could outperform expectations, soaring past their 2022 8-9 record thanks to a good draft and mostly the competence of their new offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien. Others believe that the team didn't do enough to compete in an increasingly difficult division, especially now that Aaron Rodgers has joined the Jets, and that another mediocre to subpar season by Pats standards is at hand.

Those are just opinions. Computers, however, don’t have opinions. They just perform emotionlessly (for now), crunch numbers and run simulations, then let you know what they think. And one of the foremost football analytics services has run win sims on the 2023 season, and you won’t believe how confident they are in the Pats.

According to the PFF Simulator, the New England Patriots will finish with 11 wins…you read that right: ELEVEN, finishing with an 11-6 record. That is far beyond the 7.5 wins total that Las Vegas oddsmakers currently have the Pats set at, and would likely qualify for a playoff spot (Robert Kraft would love this). Even more wild is the teams the game simulator has the Patriots defeating, including the Chiefs, the Eagles in the home opener (Brady magic returns!) and the Bills twice! They haven’t defeated the Bills twice in a season since Brady was their starting QB.

Fans in the New England area are dubious about simulators, analytics and algorithmic predictions, especially since ESPN analytics gave the Celtics a 97% chance to advance to the NBA Finals over the Miami Heat (not looking great, Bob!). What’s also interesting is that PFF has Mac Jones ranked as the 21st starting QB of 32 for 2023. That 11-win total would be pretty impressive for a bottom-half QB. Must be a lot of faith in that renovated defense, improved special teams and Bill O’Brien back in the house.

OTAs are just getting underway in Foxboro, and the regular season is still months off, so a lot can happen to sway any preseason win total predictions. This is definitely among the more optimistic we’ve seen to date. Be sure not to miss a special 6 Rings & Football Things podcast on Friday when we'll have a guest from Pro Football Focus to analyze the Patriots draft, roster depth and, yes, explain how this win simulator has the Pats cranking it to 11 this fall. Maybe they can explain how their machine thinks the Arizona Cardinals are going to win 9 games while they’re at it.

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