New England Patriots Super Bowl Odds: Pats Will Contend in 2022
One season without Tom Brady is all it took for the New England Patriots to realize they needed a franchise quarterback under center. Thankfully, they found him in Mac Jones. Jones enters his second professional season with high expectations after he set the league on fire in his rookie season. The Alabama Crimson Tide product finished second in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting and made his first Pro Bowl, helping the Pats back to the playoffs after a disastrous 2020 campaign.
As with any Bill Belichick team, the Patriots’ schemes and playbook are the foundation of their success. Although New England lost a few starters from last year’s squad, the plug-and-replace mentality of the franchise means they have the personnel to make another postseason run. That’s reflected in their Super Bowl odds, as the AFC East contenders enter the season at +4000 to win their first championship since the 2018 season.
Year after year, the Patriots’ overall defense is greater than the sum of its parts. New England has finished in the top half of the league in total defense in six of the past seven years, sitting in the top ten on four occasions. Their scoring defense has been even more impressive, ranking in the top ten in points allowed for nine straight years. Although they’ll have to overcome the loss of a few key defensive players, the Pats have acquired some adequate replacements.
Out are J.C. Jackson, Kyle Van Noy, and Dont’a Hightower, all ranked top eight on the team in tackles. Still, the team didn’t have to go far to replace their starters, looking internally to replace their lost productivity. The Patriots added linebacker Raekwon McMillan ahead of the 2021 season. However, an ACL injury prevented him from participating in the 2021 season. McMillan was extended through 2022 and will be an integral part of the linebackers corps. The same is true for their secondary, with the Patriots turning to undrafted free agent Jonathan Jones to replace Jackson at cornerback. Jones has spent his entire six-year career in New England but has started more than seven games in a season just once.
Familiarity is a good thing for the Pats’ new defensive starters, and as we’ve seen for the last decade, anyone can step into Belichick’s scheme and be a difference-maker.
There’s nothing glamorous about the Pats’ offense. New England used its first-round draft pick to select left guard Cole Strange, which was the most substantive offseason change. Otherwise, the Patriots return most of their starters from last year, facilitating another strong year from Jones as he continues his development and helps the Patriots win now.
New England made one minor adjustment on offense, bringing in DeVante Parker to replace Nelson Agholor as a starting receiver. Parker didn’t reach his full potential in seven seasons with the Miami Dolphins. The former 14th-overall selection surpassed 800 receiving yards just once and posted a catch percentage above 60.0% twice. Belichick has a good track record for getting the most out of his players, and Parker could be an integral part of the offense.
Notwithstanding, the Pats return their top four receivers from last year, ensuring Jones has his usual targets to rely on. Similarly, Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson return to the backfield, setting the stage for another productive offensive season.
BetMGM Super Bowl Insights and Analysis
The Patriots have to contend with Super Bowl favorites, the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East, but that won’t prevent them from competing again this season. Belichick operates one of the most efficient defensive units in the league, and the offense should improve with another year of development from Jones. There are a handful of teams in the +4000 range, but the Patriots might be the best of them.