Morning Sports Update

Peter King thinks it’s ‘hard to get excited’ about the 2023 Patriots

The Patriots were placed in the lower half of the longtime NFL writer's power ranking.

Patriots ranking
The onstage video screens display "The Pick Is In" for the New England Patriots during the 2023 NFL Draft. AP Photo/Steve Luciano

The Celtics lost Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals 116-115 in overtime to the 76ers on Sunday. The series, now tied 2-2, heads back to Boston for Game 5 on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

The Red Sox lost to the Phillies, 6-1. The defeat ended Boston’s eight-game winning streak.

Peter King’s take on the Patriots: With the NFL Draft over and the major moves in free agency complete, it’s possible to begin seriously assessing how teams have prepared for the 2023 season.

When veteran NFL reporter Peter King looks at the Patriots, he sees a lower-tier team.

In a recent power ranking, King noted in his “Football Morning in America” column that New England doesn’t exactly inspire excitement following an 8-9 season.


“Other than new OC Bill O’Brien, it’s hard to get excited about a team that finished losing five of the last seven, with the D/special teams allowing 29.7 points per game in the last seven weeks,” King wrote. “And then defensive leader Devin McCourty retired.”

His Patriots ranking: 20th out of 32 teams. New England was placed in the fifth out of seven tiers in the power rankings.

Of course, the Patriots have rarely “won the offseason” during the Bill Belichick era. The notable exception came with a major splash of free agent spending in 2021, though that hasn’t exactly proven to have been successful.

As King noted, the most prominent addition to the team’s roster was a coach, not a player. O’Brien, returning to New England for a second stint as the offensive coordinator after more than a decade, is expected to restore a level of normalcy to an offense that struggled in 2022 under an unorthodox coaching situation.

Trivia: Bill O’Brien last ran the Patriots offense as coordinator in 2011. After Wes Welker, which Patriots wide receiver had the most receptions that season?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He went to Louisville for college.

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The postgame reaction: Here’s how “Inside the NBA” felt about Celtics-76ers Game 4.

On this day: In 2019, Chris Sale threw an immaculate seventh inning (striking out the side on just nine pitches), part of an eight-inning, 14-strikeout performance in which he allowed just one run.

Still, it wasn’t enough as the Red Sox and Orioles continued into extra innings tied at 1-1. In the bottom of the 11th, Jackie Bradley Jr. extended the game with an incredible over-the-wall catch to prevent a walk-off home run:

In the 12th, Andrew Benintendi’s solo home run proved to be enough as Boston came away with a 2-1 win over Baltimore.


Daily highlight: UNC Wilmington pulled off a roundabout way of getting an out at home during a 4-2 win over Northeastern on Sunday.

Trivia answer: Deion Branch


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