Imagining the 2021 Patriots will improve on last season’s showing doesn’t require a leap of faith.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss on Friday predicted the Patriots will win at least 10 games during the 2021 NFL season. Reiss based his prediction on the host of acquisitions, many of them high-profile, New England made in recent weeks in free agency and he also considers the impact of the the NFL’s decision to increase the number of regular season games from 16 to 17.
“Bill Belichick and his coaching staff squeezed seven wins out of a 2020 team with lesser talent,” Reiss wrote. “Now that the Patriots have infused the roster with more talent due to a free-agency blitz that saw them upgrade at tight end (Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith), pass-rusher (Matthew Judon) and several other positions — along with a 17-game schedule — the possibility of 10 wins seems realistic.”
Predicting an exact win total at this point is a useless exercise, as voluntary workouts and minicamps haven’t taken place yet. Furthermore, the 2021 NFL Draft will be at the end of this month.
Although Belichick offered a somewhat subdued review of this year’s quarterback draft class, the Patriots still are expected to use their picks to boost their overhauled roster further.
It will be interesting to see how Reiss revises his prediction for the 2021 Patriots this summer when training camp begins. Will he stick with two more wins than 2020 or increase his prediction?