The Patriots offense has been bad. Is Josh McDaniels to blame?
Ever since Josh McDaniels backed out of coaching the Indianapolis Colts, it has been assumed he did so because he’s next in line the succeed Bill Belichick as the Patriots head coach. At the time it was a relief. The Patriots wouldn’t need to find a new offensive coordinator that Tom Brady liked and the train would keep on rolling.
But a lot has changed since then.
In a “what have you done for me lately” sport, McDaniels isn’t carrying his weight. Considering the struggles that former Patriots offensive coordinators, including McDaniels, have had after leaving New England and losing Brady as their quarterback, should fans even want McDaniels to be the coach in waiting? With the offensive performance over the past two seasons, should he even be the offensive coordinator anymore?
Yes, Brady is gone and it shows, but the cracks were developing last season. The Patriots are currently 28th in the NFL in passing yards and points per game, behind teams like Jacksonville and Detroit. Even more damning is the season Brady is having in a new offense. Brady has a 65.3% completion percentage, up from 60.8% last season; his sack percentage is down to 3.6% from 4.2%; and he’s only four touchdowns off his mark of 24 for the entire 2019 campaign.
Admittedly, the talent on the Patriots offense has been almost nonexistent. There’s not much to go around the wide receivers room, the backfield is constantly injured, and the team hasn’t even tried to solve the tight end issue after Rob Gronkowski retired. Still, a lot of the offense’s issues fall directly on McDaniels’ shoulders — namely play calling.
In a league of offensive innovation, McDaniels has been a bland and predictable play caller, especially in a season in which he cannot be. Everyone knows a run is coming on third and short, whether it was with a running back last season or quarterback sneak/boot this season. On top of that, he overly conservative. It’s like the play calling is designed to make the defense do all the work. The Patriots shouldn’t be playing “not to lose.”
It’s clear that McDaniels has been surpassed as a play caller and a play designer by younger, more innovative minds like Sean McVay. The Patriots have major issues, especially on offense, and McDaniels has been a big culprit despite the lack of talent, injuries and opt outs. There’s no doubt the Patriots should do some reevaluating this offseason at the latest.