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2023 NFL preview

Will the Patriots reach 10 wins? Who will meet in the Super Bowl? See the Globe’s NFL predictions for 2023.

Three of our seven experts believe Joe Burrow can lead the Bengals to their first Super Bowl championship.Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The Patriots open the 2023 season Sunday against the Eagles, so that means it’s time to share how the Globe’s football writers and columnists see things shaking out this season.

Last year, Ben Volin correctly predicted New England would finish with an 8-9 record, and a few others were off by only a game. This year, the Patriots have a new offensive coordinator, a quarterback in a “prove-it” year, and an intriguing class of rookies.

Here are our predictions for 2023. Read on to learn more.


Chad Finn is one of two Globe staffers to put Christian Gonzalez and the Patriots in the playoffs.Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Chad Finn

Patriots: 10-7

Amazing what wonders a competent offensive coordinator can work for a young quarterback. The offense will be better than conventional wisdom suggests. The defense is fast and versatile, but Christian Gonzalez must be a standout from the get-go. It all adds up to a playoff berth.

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Super Bowl: Cincinnati over Philadelphia

Joe Burrow accomplishes what Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason could not and makes the Bengals a champion.

Christopher L. Gasper has Aaron Rodgers and the Jets in the playoffs as a wild card.Vera Nieuwenhuis/Associated Press

Christopher L. Gasper

Patriots: 9-8

Middle-of-the-Pack Mac leads a team mired in the NFL’s big middle.

Super Bowl: Buffalo over San Francisco

The NFL’s heartbreak kids exorcise the ghost of Scott Norwood.

Is this the Bills' year?Matt Freed/Associated Press

Christopher Price

Patriots: 9-8

Feels like this team is capable of winning anywhere between six and 10 games, so I’ll err on the plus-.500 side. It’ll be an ugly start and they’ll need some help just to survive in the rugged AFC East, but some late regression from Miami opens the door just enough for the last playoff spot.

Super Bowl: Buffalo over Philadelphia

Here we go, Buffalo.

Lions winning the Super Bowl? Why not?Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Dan Shaughnessy

Patriots: 7-10

Having assembled a 1950s team built on special teams, rock-ribbed defense, and “establishing” the run, Bill Belichick puts the Patriots in leather helmets at the start of the season and works Mac Jones out of the T-formation. Bill expresses surprise when the Patriots lose a lot of high-scoring games against teams with well-paid wide receivers. At season’s end, Bob Kraft apologizes to fans for not winning a playoff game for yet another season, promises to take action, then does nothing to change anything.

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Super Bowl: Detroit over NY Jets

Greatest matchup in Super Bowl history. A team with one playoff win since 1957 vs. a team that hasn’t won since Joe Willie Namath in Super Bowl III. Barbell-eating Lions coach Dan Campbell dedicates the victory to 2024 Pro Football Hall of Famer Buddy Parker, who coached the Lions in the early 1950s.

Can Jalen Hurts lead the Eagles back to the Super Bowl?Nick Wass/Associated Press

Tara Sullivan

Patriots: 8-9

The initial four-game swing of Philly-Miami-Jets-Dallas is bad enough, but the schedule gets no easier from there. Going to be a rough one, folks, especially with Mac Jones running for his life behind a patchwork O-line.

Super Bowl: Cincinnati over Philadelphia

It’s heartbreak city again for perennial runner-up Philadelphia, which will run into a quarterback in Joe Burrow who is more determined than ever to finally claim that Lombardi Trophy.

Ben Volin has Geno Smith and the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.Kiichiro Sato/Associated Press

Ben Volin

Patriots: 9-8

The Patriots won eight games last year despite being totally dysfunctional on offense, and now with Bill O’Brien, they should be much more functional. But they still don’t have elite talent, and they face a murderer’s row of quarterbacks. They’ll be in the mix for the seventh playoff spot, but the AFC is just too loaded.

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Super Bowl: Cincinnati over Seattle

Joe Burrow was a field goal away from a Lombardi Trophy two years ago, and a late hit away from a second trip to the Super Bowl last year. This year Burrow and the Bengals finally get over the hump, winning the organization’s first championship against a feisty Seahawks team that exceeds expectations in Geno Smith’s second season as starter.

Does Brock Purdy have enough to lead the 49ers to a title?Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Nicole Yang

Patriots: 9-8

Quarterback Mac Jones and the passing attack should improve significantly with new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien in charge. But the progress won’t lead to a drastic change in record because the Patriots have the toughest schedule in the NFL. Plus, the roster is not built to withstand injuries to offensive skill position players. Nine wins could be enough to steal a playoff berth, but the Patriots likely will find themselves on the outside looking in — again.

Super Bowl: San Francisco over Buffalo

After losing in the conference championship game the past two years, coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers finally get over the hump.


Chad Finn can be reached at chad.finn@globe.com. Follow him @GlobeChadFinn. Christopher L. Gasper is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at christopher.gasper@globe.com. Follow him @cgasper and on Instagram @cgaspersports. Christopher Price can be reached at christopher.price@globe.com. Follow him @cpriceglobe. Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at daniel.shaughnessy@globe.com. Follow him @dan_shaughnessy. Tara Sullivan is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at tara.sullivan@globe.com. Follow her @Globe_Tara. Ben Volin can be reached at ben.volin@globe.com. Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.Follow her @nicolecyang.