Latest bold predictions for the Patriots
By: Jake Rajala
The New England Patriots aren’t pulling their foot off the pedal in the brutal AFC East. The cyborg head coach, Bill Belichick, has talent on his roster (such as QB Mac Jones, WR DeVante Parker, TE Hunter Henry, OLB Matthew Judon, and FS Devin McCourty) & he also has assistant coaches: Matt Patricia and Joe Judge back at this lab. With that said, I’m going to take a fun angle and untwine 10 bold predictions for the Patriots in 2022.
- Mac Jones throws 30+ passing touchdowns
Mac Jones is no longer a rookie in the league and he clearly has a stronger taste of the NFL speed in his second season. Furthermore, Jones has new ammunition in his sophomore season – such as the new WR1 DeVante Parker. The former Phins wideout is still a year under 30 and I believe his ability shown in 2019 (1,202 yds and 9 touchdowns) isn’t too far behind him.
- Hunter Henry makes the Pro Bowl
The former Los Angeles Chargers TE ousted a personal-best 9 TDs last season. I expect him to blossom in year two with the Pats – especially from a wiser QB1. I believe Henry can make his first Pro Bowl in 2022.
- Josh Uche records double-digit sacks
BB shipped away the former Michigan Wolverine Chase Winovich and the new OLB starter is none other than Winovich’s former teammate at Michigan, Josh Uche. The young edge rusher has shined this off-season and I believe he is due for his best season in 2022 – which could absolutely be a double-digit sack campaign.
- Devin McCourty makes the Pro Bowl
The Pats safety Devin McCourty is like fine wine – as he continues to shine in his old age (and he recently turned 35). He ousted three ints last season and PFF also gave him a potent 76.0 grade. I believe the three-time Pro Bowler will leave everything on the line in potentially his last season and garner a PB berth.
- Matthew Judon is second-team All-Pro (at least)
Matthew Judon proved to be a monster pick-up by the Pats GM – as he recorded a personal-best 12.5 sacks in 2021. I believe he slightly improves – which will result in second-team AP honors (at least).
- Christian Barmore is a Pro Bowler
The Pats x-factor on defense is Christian Barmore in my opinion. The Patriots 2021 second-round pick has freakish physical gifts and he also got his feet wet in year one. In year two – I foresee Barmore being unstoppable in the run game and improving in the passing game – which could lead to him obtaining Pro Bowl honors.
- Ty Montgomery has 5+ TDs
The Pats inked the RB/WR Ty Montgomery in free agency – who has been with the Packers and Saints in his NFL journey. I believe he will be utilized best in New England & Mac Jones will stay efficient by hooking up with him in the red zone. I trust that he can unveil 5+ TDs in 2022.
- Belichick smiles a few times
I know Belichick is an old-school philosopher & a bit of a hard-ass. However, he has tended to be more laid back in his older years. With that said, I believe he will be happy & even smile a few times in his 22nd season with NE. Yes, you read that correctly.
- Nick Folk converts 40+ field goals for the Patriots
The Pats really leaned on their kicker Nick Folk to be a star in 2021 – as he had a career-high 39 attempts (and which he converted a personal-best 36 FGs). I believe he will be called on more than last season and he will shine by converting a whopping 40 FGs.
- Damien Harris runs for 1,200+ yards
The 2019 third-round pick Damien Harris registered an impressive 15 rushing TDs and 929 rushing yds last season. I believe the future will only be brighter for the physical RB that is entering a contract year — hence, I believe he will up his single-season rushing yard tally to 1,200+ yards.