If Cynthia Frelund’s data-driven projection comes to fruition, the Patriots will be a playoff team in the upcoming NFL season.
With the start of the 2021 campaign fast approaching, Frelund delivered win total projections for every AFC team. New England, at 9.4, has the seventh-highest mark in the conference, which lands Bill Belichick’s team one of the AFC’s three wild-card spots.
Frelund projects the Patriots’ ceiling for wins at 11.8, while her floor for New England is 7.5
“When the Patriots released Cam Newton and handed the starting reins to Mac Jones, New England’s win total … didn’t really budge,” Frelund wrote for NFL.com. “This is not to say the rookie first-rounder has equal value to the former league MVP from Game 1; rather, the sum of the parts on this team with the clarity of Jones starting didn’t drive a major shift in the win total. However, this did make earlier games in the season less likely wins and later ones more likely Ws.”
New England will try to pick up win No. 1 on Sunday when it hosts the AFC East rival Miami Dolphins for a season-opening showdown.