Sports Illustrated has Patriots winning AFC East


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If you’re going to offer a bold take, let alone a bold take on something that won’t happen for months, it best be legitimately bold. Like eye-popping if not jaw-droppingly bold. Have no fear, for someone has done just that regarding the New England Patriots and their 2023 outlook.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr, the New England Patriots will win the AFC East in 2023. It’s part of his list of 100 Bold Predictions for the 2023 NFL Season, and it’s so bold it lands all the way up at No. 3, no less.

“Bill O’Brien is back and carrying a new bag of tricks from his Alabama getaway,” Orr said. “This offense can sensibly grind out games behind a brilliant defense. You’ll ask: But what about the Dolphins, Jets and Bills? My thought is that this division may end up collapsing in on itself a little bit.”

Sounds like someone believes in the tenets and fundamentals of Patriots football returning, all while the other teams getting all the attention would not realize their hype. Considering the Pats finished last in the division last season at 8-9, only added O’Brien as their big splash move of the season and have a win total of just 7.5 games according to Vegas, this definitely qualifies as a bold prediction. Maybe an outrageous one for some, but we’re here for “Clean Slate Season” with O’Brien, Mac Jones and these Pats.

Orr, who believes the Bengals will defeat the 49ers in Super Bowl 58, also believes Rhamondre Stevenson will win the rushing title (something has to go right for the Pats on offense this season if they’re gonna take back the East)

“The Patriots’ tailback is an unquestioned No. 1, with Ty Montgomery looking like he’ll assume the third-down responsibilities,” Orr said. “Stevenson was 12th among running backs last year and roughly 600 yards off the pace set by Josh Jacobs, but he was in a fundamentally broken system with a more definitive platoon of backs.”

While others scoff, we’ll just take notes, keep receipts and hope Orr’s Foxboro faith is well warranted come this fall. Otherwise we’ll likely be hearing from the @OldTakesExposed folks.

Featured Image Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports