Patriots unlikely to get a top-10 pick
With games against Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Miami left, the Patriots could end up with a record as bad as 7-10.
ESPN simulated the remainder of the season 10,000 times and used the results to predict what the 2023 NFL Draft might look like.
Following New England’s dramatic loss to Las Vegas on Sunday, the Patriots are projected to have the 14th pick according to ESPN’s projections.
With the Patriots looking lost on offense and games against Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Miami remaining, there’s a chance New England end the season at a lowly 7-10.
But would that be enough to land the franchise its first top-10 pick since Jerod Mayo in 2008?
It’s highly unlikely. ESPN estimates the chances of New England landing in the top 10 to be around 2.6 percent.
But, as Chandler Jones and the Raiders demonstrated on the final play of last week’s game, crazy things can happen in the NFL.
Here’s a look at the Patriots’ odds for snagging a top-10 pick.
Raiders could make it interesting.
Seven of the 10 spots have more than a 92 percent chance to remain occupied.
The Texans, Bears, Seahawks [via Broncos], Cardinals, Lions [via Rams], Colts, and Falcons all have nine losses or more along with schedules that make further losses likely.
The Eagles [via Saints] and Panthers also have nine losses and both have around an 80 percent chance of staying in the top-10.
Where things get interesting is the 10th spot, which is currently held by the Raiders. Las Vegas has won four of its last five and has more than a 50 percent chance of moving out of the top 10. At 6-8, Las Vegas has the same record as its Christmas Eve opponent Pittsburgh. But after that, they’ll play the Chiefs and 49ers, who are both playoff contenders.
Losses to Las Vegas and Green Bay could help the Patriots move up.
Two of the four teams in spots 10-13 — Las Vegas and Green Bay — have beaten the Patriots.
If a tiebreaker is needed, the NFL considers strength of schedule first, giving the earlier pick to the team that played the schedule with the lower aggregate win percentage.
If the winning percentage is the same, divisional or conference tiebreakers are applied. If another tiebreaker is still needed after that, head-to-head records are considered.
In certain scenarios, the Patriots would hold head-to-head advantages over Las Vegas and Green Bay due to their losses against them. Green Bay (6-8) has Miami on the road and a home game against rival Minnesota left. The Raiders have a brutal two games to close out the year.
Pittsburgh (6-8), which still has Las Vegas and Cleveland on its schedule, seems the likeliest of these teams to finish with eight wins. And then there’s the Texans (6-8) in the No. 12 spot, who have the Titans, Jaguars, and Colts left. Two of those are very winnable. But with Houston’s struggles, they’re far from guaranteed.
Patriots are down, but not completely out of the playoff hunt.
Last week’s loss — a setback against a mediocre team that materialized in embarrassing fashion — was one of the most agonizing in Patriots history.
New England has slid out of position for the seventh seed in the playoff hunt and back onto the bubble. But, they have a rematch with Miami (who currently sit in the final spot) coming up that could help their case if they were to pull off an upset.
The odds are strongly against the Patriots cobbling together a pair of wins while having to play Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, and Tua Tagovailoa over the next three weeks.
But, if they can limp their way to 9-7 with a win over Miami mixed in, there’s a slim chance that the playoffs are still possible.
Sign up for Patriots updates🏈
Get breaking news and analysis delivered to your inbox during football season.
- New emergency rule bans fishermen from parts of Massachusetts Bay for 3 months
- What exactly is wind chill, and how is it calculated? Boston braces for arctic blast.
- Man sprints across Mass. highway to stop woman’s runaway car
- Three concerning trends keep sprouting up during the Bruins’ losing streak
- Body of 96-year-old woman found in Chicago garage freezer