Jim Miller: Why Patriots can win the AFC East in 2023


Even if the New England Patriots make significant upgrades to the roster this offseason, they'll have their work cut out for them in the AFC East.

The Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Miami Dolphins each currently have better odds to win the division. With Aaron Rodgers likely to be traded to the Jets, one could argue all three AFC East rivals will be in a better spot than New England at quarterback.

But even with the Patriots coming off an 8-9 season, one NFL expert is optimistic about their chances in 2023. Former QB Jim Miller, now a host on SiriusXM NFL Radio, sees them winning the division next season. He joined Tom E. Curran on a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast to explain why.

Patriots Talk: Can the Patriots win AFC East? This expert says definitely yes | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"I think they've got the ability to have a rebound season," Miller said. "I just think they need a lot more offensive accountability and that's why they went the direction they did with Bill O'Brien. Bill O'Brien will have a big impact on that offense for the Patriots, and I don't just say that lightly. (Tom) Brady had a lot of success there before, albeit everybody would say, 'Oh, that was with Tom Brady.'

"But look what he did down in the AFC South. He was the head coach of the Houston Texans for seven years. They finished first in the division four times. This guy is a very accomplished play caller, worked with numerous quarterbacks down there until they were able to land Deshaun Watson and then unfortunately had to. you know, we know how that story finished out there.

"But then he goes on to Alabama and has a lot of success there as a play caller as well. He's very tapped into the college game. He'll put new wrinkles into the offense. And he's got familiarity with Mac Jones. And I don't think -- when you look at the the losses of the Patriots this year on offense they lose Damien Harris but they get James Robinson. I think they could always draft another running back. And I like the signing of (Mike) Gesicki and I think the offensive line will be just fine. They'll just have a lot more offensive accountability to really play complementary football."

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Miller would not be surprised to see the Patriots tally double digits in the win column.

"I like the signing of JuJu Smith-Schuster. I think he's going to help them as I think Gesicki will, because I think Bill O'Brien's going to know how to utilize those players and we'll see if they end up adding another receiver here in free agency," Miller said. ...

"I do think overall the division got better, but I think the Patriots have gotten better. And now with the offense, with somebody like Bill O'Brien and the accountability, the efficiency he'll bring on offense. I think the Patriots will be in every game and they'll have the opportunity to to stretch it out to 11 or 12 wins."

Also discussed in the episode: Is Bill Belichick holding a grudge against Mac Jones? Sal Capaccio discusses the state of the Buffalo Bills. And Brian Costello discusses the latest with Aaron Rodgers and the Jets.

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube.

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