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Week 5 Schedule Breakdown: New England Patriots

The New Orleans Saints will travel to Foxborough early next season to take on the stout defense of the Patriots.

New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
The leash for Mac Jones is likely very short going into a prove-it season
Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

Normally, a trip to Foxborough to face one of the greatest coaches in NFL history would be a scary proposition for teams. This is not the same Patriots juggernaut in years past though. The team has had very similar issues moving on from a Hall of Fame quarterback as the Saints. This should be a good measuring stick for both teams. Luckily for the New Orleans Saints, this outdoor game will take place early in the 2023 NFL regular season. In week 5, the Saints will travel and face the New England Patriots on Sunday, October 8. This is the breakdown of the New Orleans Saints at the New England Patriots for Week 5 of the 2023 NFL Regular Season.

Week 5: Saints at Pats

The similarities between these two teams are easy to see. Both teams were quarterbacked by future Hall of Fame quarterbacks for many seasons. Tom Brady and Drew Brees were two of the best to ever play the position and both teams have had trouble replicating their success. The Patriots are continuing with the Mac Jones project but have not really given him much help at pass catcher. Signing JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki this off-season should help. Meanwhile, the Saints tried and failed the Jameis Winston project and have now moved on to Derek Carr. Carr and Jones will be tested early next season and will have to make progress or risk losing faith from the fans and front office who are accustomed to greatness under center.

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Chris Olave is likely to be the best skill position player on the field in Week 5
Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Both finished third in their division while leaning on the defensive side of the ball so it is the offense that needs to improve. Both teams were middling on offense. The Patriots scored the eighth most points in the AFC while the Saints scored the 12th fewest in the NFC. Neither team was great at scoring though as the Patriots had just 34 more points total than the Saints last season. Skill position was a major issue for the Patriots as no receiver had more than 805 yards catching. For the Saints though, Chris Olave was a standout in his rookie season, putting up over 1,000 yards. On the ground it was the opposite. Rhamondre Stevenson went over 1,000 yards on the ground while the Saints did not have anyone with over 900 yards. This should be a competitive, early-season battle between these two teams.

Defensive battle incoming

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Demario Davis will likely have to lead this Saints defense to a win in a likely defensive struggle
Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

These two teams have many things in common, especially with how they won games last season. Overall, the Saints allowed the fifth fewest yards per game in the NFL while the Patriots allowed just the ninth. Neither the Patriots nor the Saints defense are likely to be worse this season either. The Saints lost role players such as Kaden Ellis, Shy Tuttle, and David Onyemata. Replacing these players will be veterans Nathan Shepherd and Khalen Saunders as well as newly drafted Bryan Bresee and Isaiah Foskey. As for the Patriots, expect a very similar defensive look as last season. There was no significant turnover for the Patriots on defense but they did spend their first three rounds of draft picks on defense. Of course, neither team’s issue was on the defensive side of the ball.

The Patriots really set out this off-season to improve their offensive line. They drafted three offensive linemen in rounds four and five of the 2023 NFL Draft. They also signed Calvin Anderson and Riley Reiff. The Patriots new-look line will get tested early by the Saints front, who had the fifth most sacks in the NFL last year. Of course, the Saints were very active in trying to improve their offense with the signing of Carr and Jamaal Williams. The Saints offensive line better be ready for this matchup though as the Patriots had the third most sacks in the NFL last season. A lot of the Saints sack issues last season were due to back quarterback play, but the Patriots defense really pressures opposing offenses. If Carr and the Saints offense have not gelled by week 5, this could be a low scoring defensive battle in Foxborough.

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders
Let’s hope Derek Carr celebrates more touchdowns against the Patriots except in Black and Gold this season
Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images