2022 Patriots Preview: Staff predictions for record, MVPs, Super Bowl and more

·8 min read

NBC Sports Boston staff predicts Patriots record, MVPs and more originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

In less than two weeks, the New England Patriots will begin their 2022 season against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. There's no shortage of question marks heading into the regular-season opener on Sept. 11.

Most of those questions come from the Patriots offense. Will Matt Patricia and Joe Judge succeed as "co-coordinators"? Will Mac Jones take a step forward in Year 2? And will the offensive line hold up after a rough summer? The Pats will need the answers to those three questions to be a resounding "yes" if they hope to return to the playoffs.

 Patriots Talk: Season preview: just how much patience is necessary in ‘22 | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

To get an idea of the level of optimism surrounding the team, we asked our staff here at NBC Sports Boston to put together their predictions for the 2022 season. Here's a roundup of their picks for the Patriots' final record, offensive and defensive MVPs, biggest storyline after the season, and the Super Bowl.

Tom E. Curran, Patriots Insider

Record: 8-9. No playoffs.

Offensive MVP: McCorkle

Defensive MVP: Kyle Dugger

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: How is Robert Kraft feeling about his team’s direction after another late-season swoon and a playoff miss?

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Buffalo vs. Tampa. After Bills miss late FG wide right with 13 seconds left in regulation, we have another OT Super Bowl and Brady tears out the Bills' heart and shows it to them - oozing, gooshy, dripping and still faintly beating - before dropping it gently to the ground and stepping over it as he walks away into retirement and into the waiting arms of Gis … TARA REID?!?!?!

New reality show. BradyNado coming this summer.

Phil Perry, Patriots Reporter

Record: 9-8. No playoffs.

Offensive MVP: Mac Jones

Defensive MVP: Christian Barmore

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: The Patriots still don't have enough defensively to slow down the Bills. Two losses to Buffalo in the final six weeks of the season sink their chances at a postseason run.

Super Bowl Matchup and prediction: Bills-Rams. Bills win it, 30-27.

Mike Felger, Boston Sports Tonight

Record: 7-10, No playoffs.

Offensive MVP: Rhamondre Stevenson 

Defensive MVP: Christian Barmore

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: Will Kraft force Bill Belichick to hire real coordinators?

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Denver vs. Tampa. Bucs win.

John Tomase, Red Sox Insider

Record: 7-10, No playoffs.

Offensive MVP: Mac Jones

Defensive MVP: Jack Jones

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: Oh, god, what if Mac Jones's ceiling is kinda low? The only way the Patriots overcome the coaching malaise and talent-acquisition malaise of the post-Brady years is if Jones makes the leap from top 15-20 quarterback into the top 10. If he doesn't, say hello to purgatory.

Stealers Wheel put it best in a song remembered for its use during a gruesome torture scene in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs: "Here I am, stuck in the middle with you."

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Bills 45, Packers 10

Wide right … Thurman Thomas's missing helmet … 13 seconds -- is there a longer suffering fan base than those crazies up in Buffalo? Their misery comes to an end this winter behind MVP Josh Allen in a gift Super Bowl appearance vs. Aaron Rodgers and the Pack, who win the battle of weirdo old man quarterbacks in the NFC title game vs. Tom Brady's Bucs with Joe Rogan and Tony Robbins sharing braised elk in the commissioner's box.

Michael Holley, Boston Sports Tonight

Patriots Final Record: 10-7, playoffs.

Offensive MVP: Devante Parker

Defensive MVP: Christian Barmore

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: Similar to 2021, they were in strong position in early December. In fact, they were tied with Buffalo atop the division (at 8-3) going into their Thursday Night Football matchup at Gillette. They lost that game and three of their last five to back into the playoffs. They lost their Wild Card game in Denver on a record 68-yard field goal as time expired. 

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: 49ers over Bengals. You’ll recognize the game’s MVP: Handsome Jimmy Garoppolo.

DJ Bean, Boston Sports Tonight

Record: 7-10. No playoffs.

Offensive MVP: Mac Jones (but he regresses)

Defensive MVP: Christian Barmore

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: Does Belichick have a plan? We won’t stop talking about the offense, including whether Jones is the guy or the coaching staff just let him down.   

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Bills over Packers

Darren Hartwell, NBCSportsBoston.com

Record: 9-8. Needing just one win in their last two games to reach the postseason, the Patriots fall to the Dolphins and Bills in Weeks 17 and 18 to barely miss out on a Wild Card spot.

Offensive MVP: Mac Jones. Rhamondre Stevenson gets an honorable mention for emerging as a threat in the passing game, but Jones manages to improve his stats in Year 2 despite lacking a true offensive coordinator. That’s MVP-worthy. 

Defensive MVP: Jalen Mills. Mills is a big reason why the Patriots win nine games, emerging as the shutdown corner that New England lost in J.C. Jackson. The cornerback group is a bright spot for the 2022 Patriots, with Mills leading the charge.

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: “Hey, it could have been worse…”

Patriots fans won’t be thrilled about their team missing the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. But after some early growing pains, the Jones-Matt Patricia-Joe Judge experiment shows signs of progress that can be taken into 2023. At least the arrow is pointing in the right direction. 

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Bills 27, Bucs 20. The Chiefs have been Buffalo’s downfall in the last two postseasons, but Josh Allen finally takes the next step and earns a matchup with old AFC East foe Tom Brady. Brady nearly leads a late comeback, but the Bills hold on to win their first Super Bowl and give Scott Norwood some peace.

Nick Goss, NBCSportsBoston.com

Record: 9-8, No playoffs.

Pats Offensive MVP: Mac Jones

Pats Defensive MVP: Christian Barmore

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: The massive amount of salary cap space they have in 2023 and how they’ll use it, because there will be lots of roster weaknesses to address. 

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Buccaneers beat Bills

Justin Leger, NBCSportsBoston.com

Record: 8-9. No playoffs.

Offensive MVP: Rhamondre Stevenson 

Defensive MVP: Matt Judon 

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: Bill Belichick’s job will be in question. He will need to nail the 2023 offseason and improve in the 2023 regular season, otherwise it will be time for a regime change.

Curran: Season preview and prediction for your 2022 Patriots

Tom Brady and the Bucs winning another Super Bowl while the Patriots fail to miss the playoffs for the second time since his departure will not go over well in New England.

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Buccaneers 31, Bills 27

Kevin Miller, VP, Content

Record: 9-8. No playoffs.

Offensive MVP: Mac Jones

Defensive MVP: Matthew Judon

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: How can they structure a roster that can compete in today’s NFL? The defense will need the biggest overhaul. Can they bring in any big splash playmakers on defense?

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Bengals vs. Rams – Rams win again 38-35 in a classic

Jason Levine, NBCSportsBoston.com

Record: 7-10. No playoffs.

Offensive MVP: Rhamondre Stevenson

Defensive MVP: Christian Barmore

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: Did the recent draft classes produce enough good players to form the next core?

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Bills beat the Rams

Adam Hart, Manager, Original Content

Record: 10-7; yes to playoffs, but only because half the league makes it.

Offensive MVP: Mac Jones

Defensive MVP: Christian Barmore

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: Jones is the guy; time to surround him with more.

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Colts-Bucs. Feels like we're due for a bleh Super Bowl matchup. Colts win!

Rob Snyder, Producer, Quick Slants

Record: 7-10, No playoffs.

Offensive MVP: Rhamondre Stevenson

Defensive MVP: Christian Barmore

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: Do we give Belichick one more year?

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Bills over Rams

Jon Henrie, Podcast Manager

Record: 10-7. Yes playoffs.

Offensive MVP: Mac Jones

Defensive MVP: Matt Judon

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: Mac Jones shows he’s got the talent, just get him more protection.

Super Bowl matchup and prediction: Bills beat the Rams

Vinnie Crouch, Simulcast Producer

Record: 7-10, No playoffs.

The biggest storyline surrounding the Patriots AFTER the season: “Mac Jones is NOT the guy”….(even though you will have no way of knowing one way or the other).

Super Bowl matchup: Bills vs. Cowboys