December 4, 2023


The Patriots have already got one of many league’s worst information, however they’re going to want some outdoors assist if they need the No. 1 general decide.

Invoice Belichick and the Patriots may find yourself selecting No. 1 within the 2024 NFL Draft. (AP Picture/Adrian Kraus)

If the aim of the 2023 season for the Patriots was to finish up with the No. 1 general decide within the 2024 NFL Draft, nicely, they’re sitting in a great place to try this by means of the primary 10 weeks.

New England entered its bye week with a 2-8 file, which is tied for the second-worst mark within the NFL. With the three-way tie, the Patriots at present maintain the No. 3 general decide within the 2024 NFL Draft, sitting behind the man 2-8 Giants however in entrance of the 2-8 Cardinals because of tiebreakers.

Whereas the Patriots and Giants play one another in Week 12, that sport gained’t have any bearing on tiebreakers for the draft order if each groups have the identical file at season’s finish. Energy of schedule is the first tiebreaker used to find out draft order, and the Patriots’ energy of schedule (.538) is a bit more durable than the Giants’ (.519) and only a smidge simpler than the Cardinals’ (.544).

So, because the Patriots are in a three-way tie with the Giants and Cardinals – whereas sitting a half-game behind the 1-8 Panthers and a sport forward of the 3-7 Bears for the league’s worst file – they’re actually within the hunt for the No. 1 general decide.

Coming into Week 11, ESPN’s FPI mannequin offers the Patriots a 5.1 p.c likelihood to land the No. 1 general decide. That’s the fourth-highest share, trailing the Giants (39.8 p.c), Panthers (who owe their decide to the Bears, 38.2 p.c), and Cardinals (12.3 p.c). When it comes to betting odds, the Patriots are tied with the Cardinals for the third-best odds to complete with the league’s worst file (+500), trailing the Panthers (+155) and Giants (+230).

There are a pair disadvantages for the Patriots in comparison with their fellow contenders for the worst file and No. 1 general decide. They’ve the second-best energy of schedule out of the groups with the worst 5 information within the league and the third-best energy of schedule out of the groups with the ten worst information within the league. So, they’ll probably be in a nasty spot in the event that they end the season tied with another groups.

The opposite factor working at a drawback for the Patriots is their remaining energy of schedule. They’ve the fourth-easiest remaining energy of schedule (.492) among the many 5 groups with the worst information. Nonetheless, the Panthers have the simplest energy of schedule remaining within the group (.473). Additionally, whereas the Cardinals have the third-toughest schedule remaining within the league, they only obtained Kyler Murray again final week, which may assist them steal some wins down the stretch.

Even when the Patriots don’t find yourself with the No. 1 general decide, they’re sitting in a great place to get a excessive choice within the 2024 NFL Draft. ESPN’s FPI offers them a 15.2 p.c likelihood to get a top-two decide, a 63.2 p.c likelihood to finish up with a top-five decide, and a 93.9 p.c likelihood to finish up with a top-10 decide. ESPN’s FPI additionally initiatives the Patriots to finish up with the fourth-worst file, but additionally has their common draft place at 5.2.

So, the Patriots will clearly want some assist to enhance their possibilities of getting a greater decide. They will get some assist in that regard this weekend, however it’ll be robust sledding. The Panthers are 10.5-point underdogs at house in opposition to the Cowboys. The Giants are 8.5-point underdogs on the highway in opposition to the Commanders. The Cardinals are six-point underdogs in opposition to C.J. Stroud and the Texans.

The Patriots may achieve some separation although from the groups sitting not too far behind them within the race for the No. 1 general decide. The three-6 Packers are three-point underdogs at house, however tackle an uneven 4-5 Chargers crew. The three-6 Rams are a one-point favourite at house in opposition to the Seahawks and a Giants loss would imply the Commanders transfer 2.5 video games behind the Patriots for the league’s worst file.