Stemming From The Top
Over the past offseason, the New England Patriots decided to not name an offensive coordinator. The main talk over the offseason was who would be calling the offensive plays after Josh McDaniels left for Vegas.
With Matt Patricia being one of the most trusted coaches under Bill Belichick, he decided to keep the job in house. Patricia was given the reigns of the offense, even though he was primarily known as a defensive coach. Bill also gave him the responsibility of coaching the offensive line.
It was a completely unorthodox move, one that has created ripples that have been felt all season long.
Big Time Struggles
Often referred to as a “rocket scientist,” due to his academic history, this is not showing off with the offensive play calling. The Patriot’s offense has been stagnant this season, to say the least.
New England currently ranks 18th in the NFL in points per game, averaging 21.2. Defensive touchdowns have definitely helped increase this number. The Patriot’s also rank 24th in yards per game.
After spending a significant amount of money two off-seasons ago on skill players such as Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Aghalor, and Kendrick Bourne, this just simply isn’t acceptable.
Plain and simple, the offense should be better. Not all is bad, though. With running backs such as Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris constantly showcasing their talent in the running game, the cause for concern has mainly been the passing game.
Up to this point in the season, Mac Jones has a disappointing statline of 7 touchdowns and 8 interceptions through 10 starts. While Mac has been disappointing, these offensive struggles do not all fall on him.
With Mac Jones struggling, many have wondered what has caused these struggles. Especially after the impressive rookie season he put together last year. The simple answer is play calling.
This past week, when the Patriots took on the Arizona Cardinals, a total of 12 screens were called. This accounted for 32% of Mac’s passing attempts. While calling all these screens, the Patriots only averaged 4.8 yards per play, which is simply unacceptable.
Watching this offensive play-calling has not only been frustrating for the fans, but it appears Mac Jones is extremely frustrated as well. Jones is constantly seen walking to the sideline, obviously frustrated with Matt Patricia.
The offense has been extremely frustrating this year, and it all starts with the early downs. The Patriots are constantly finding themselves in 3rd and long situations. Screens are definitely not the way to get out of this.
The Patriots are among the league leaders in passes that are thrown short of the sticks on 3rd down. This is obviously not a recipe for success. The Patriots also rank 29th in the NFL in 3rd down and 8 yards or longer.
A solution is honestly quite clear. The Patriots need an offensive coordinator, and they need one fast.
New Old Faces
The very apparent main need for this upcoming offseason is a new offensive coordinator. With rumors flying around about the possible return of Bill O’Brien, the Patriots need to act and act fast. The possible return of a very successful offensive coordinator such as Bill O’Brien is something all fans should be rooting for.
While the Patriots are currently right in the middle of playoff contention, there are obvious problems in New England. The defense has not really been that big a problem either. So the big issues to fix moving forward is this incompetent offense.
New England’s defense playing at an elite level and the offensive being a let down is not putting the Patriots in a good position. Especially when it comes to making a deep playoff run. Bringing in a real offensive coordinator will definitely help Mac Jones progress into the great NFL quarterback we know he can be.
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