What is the Patriots’ ceiling and floor potential in 2023 season?

Expectations are mixed in regards to how the New England Patriots will play in 2023.

The offensive and defensive units have been improved, but New England also has the hardest schedule in the NFL. Quarterback Mac Jones will need a bounce-back year. And he is just one of the many personnel questions New England has facing them this season.

The good news is the Patriots should have a revamped offense with coordinator Bill O’Brien at the helm. O’Brien’s experience and ability to maximize strengths with his offensive system will be important for New England.

ESPN released their win-loss record ceilings and floors recently, and the Patriots were not reviewed favorably, coming in as the fifth-worst team in the rankings, as noted by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.  The Patriots have a 10-7 ceiling and a 5-12 floor.

Reiss wrote:

This could be one of the best defenses in Bill Belichick’s 24-year tenure as Patriots head coach. The unit finished 2022 as one of the league’s best and lost just one player, as longtime safety and team captain Devin McCourty retired. The Patriots led the NFL in defensive retention and also used their first three draft picks on defenders who could carve out immediate roles in cornerback Christian Gonzalez, defensive end Keion White and linebacker/safety Marte Mapu.

The defense will undoubtedly be relied on heavily throughout the course of the season. As Reiss notes, this unit has the potential to be one of the best units Belichick has ever coached.

It would not be a stretch to say, given the level of difficulty with the schedule, how the defense plays will ultimately determine how the season as a whole shakes out.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire