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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / The New England Patriots offense is broken

The New England Patriots offense is broken

Publish Date: 12/21/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Watching the Patriots offense on TV, it was obviously pretty painful. Watching the Patriots offense on film? Well, let’s say it was not any better.

Poor quarterback play, poor offensive play calling and scheming, poor spacing and timing from the pass catchers. The list goes on and on, and the offense and the quarterback continue to regress.

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Let’s start with the positives. The offensive line had one of its best games in both pass protection and run blocking. The Las Vegas Raiders did not record a sack and only got a couple of quarterback pressures/hits on quarterback Mac Jones, mainly in the third quarter.

Rookie guard Cole Strange played well, consistently winning his pull blocks to set the edge, primarily on Raiders edge rusher Maxx Crosby, which is no easy task. Right tackle Conor McDermott struggled in pass protection at times but was excellent in the running game. He and right guard Michael Onwenu were ploughing through the Raiders left side of the defensive line all game long. Check out these great football odds.

If the Patriots decided to run the ball more often in the first half, they more than likely would not have been down 17-3 at halftime.

Offensive play caller Matt Patricia was not the most significant issue on Sunday, but he certainly did his team no favors. The offense has no method to get their guys into a rhythm, and he does not actively set up a defense or keep defenders on their heels. Their receivers constantly exhibit poor spacing; their heads are rarely turned when Jones is ready to throw the ball. Those are all coaching issues. The simplest way I can put it: opposing defenses have no reason to fear any aspect of the Patriots offense.

There is no rhyme, rhythm or reason behind this Patriots offense. Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi has described it best, β€œThey just run a bunch of plays.”

Alright, let’s talk about the quarterback.

I had Mac Jones with seven and a half poor plays on his part, three of them were on the opening drive. The first play for the Patriots offense was nearly an interception for the Raiders. Jones is about a second and a half too late throwing the ball over the middle. He then misses two open receivers towards the right sideline. More of the same ensued throughout the game.

His mechanics are not good right now. He constantly throws with his feet pointing in the completely wrong direction, and his trail shoulder dips too much, leading to balls that sail on him. It is a complete mess.

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His performance in the first half led to a much more conservative game plan in the second half. The Patriots ran the ball much more often in the second half, with great success.

A final point about the coordination of the offense: way too often I see players not knowing what the play was, which is not supposed to happen in week 15. The infamous goal line sequence at the beginning of the second quarter saw two timeouts wasted because of miscommunication. The Patriots are tied for the league lead in delay-of-game penalties because they can not check into a simple alert call.

The Matt Patricia-Joe Judge experiment has failed in epic fashion, and it has led to some of Jones’ fundamentals and throwing mechanics to deteriorate. The best approach for this offense during this final stretch is to continue to run the football, minimize mistakes and rely on their defense.

Β 

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