The New England Patriots’ week two win is, unfortunately, their only viable way to win games for the rest of the 2022 season. It was a nice bounceback win while playing in a very tough environment. The Steelers were without TJ Watt, which was a big advantage for New England.
Fortunately, they were able to take advantage of that absence and win the game. As expected, the defense played very well, New England won the turnover battle, and they won the time of possession battle as well.
The team outgained the Steelers overall, but were anchored by their running game, which gained 124 yards on the ground. Damien Harris averaged 4.7 yards per carry, and Rhamondre Stevenson averaged 5.2 yards per pop. Pittsburgh wasn’t able to score a touchdown until the fourth quarter as the Patriots carried a lead for the entire game.
Mitchell Trubisky was inefficient, throwing for just 168 yards, and Najee Harris only averaged 3.3 yards per carry. Pittsburgh, as a whole, gained just 243 total yards, and this formula right here is now the New England Patriots will need to win games in 2022.
They have a top ranked defense already and will need to rely on their rushing attack. Even with a deep stable of wide receivers, it’s clear that the offense is simply unable to get them involved consistently to make a difference. I do think we will see games like Nelson Agholor had yesterday all throughout the season, but I do not expect the pass catchers to be able to make a noticeable impact on opposing defenses on a consistent basis.
Part of this blame does rest with Mac Jones, and part of it rests with the offensive play-calling. Until one of these two parties either changes or gets significantly better, the Patriots will have to rely on ol’ reliable.
Expect Bill Belichick to consistently field quality defensive performances, and also expect them to continue to rely on Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. The team will live or die by these two.