The Patriots came away with a key road victory over their AFC East rivals in New York but it’s hard to come away feeling much better about Mac Jones and the offense than we did after Monday night’s debacle. Quite frankly, Jones and the offense were not good yet again on Sunday for the fifth time this season. The offense continued to stall in the redzone and Jones was under siege from the start. Halfway through his second season, it looks like the Patriots have ruined Jones.
Jones was a Pro Bowler as a rookie and led the Patriots to the playoffs after a one-year absence. This year, Jones is 2-3 as a starter, with three touchdowns, seven interceptions and has been sacked 11 times. Stats aside, his decision-making has been even worse. Multiple times he has thrown the ball either into double coverage or directly at a defensive back. He was bailed out in week two by a drop from the Steelers and bailed out Sunday by a questionable roughing the passer call. I mean look at this throw:
This is nowhere close to the quarterback we saw a season ago and one has to look at the coaching staff as a main reason why. Once offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was hired away by the Las Vegas Raiders, the Patriots grand plan to replace him was to combine the offensive talents of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge and see what happens. Who could’ve seen the disaster coming? Look at how Daniel Jones performed under Judge in New York. Clearly, he knows how to groom a young quarterback.
The biggest issue with the Patriots offense might be their inability to block up front. In the offseason, they flip flopped Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown at the tackle spots and drafted guard Cole Strange in the first round. So far, Wynn leads the NFL in penalties and has been benched twice. Brown is second in penalties and has allowed the fourth-most sacks. Sunday it was Strange’s time to be benched after he was called for two holding penalties and beaten badly by Quinnen Williams for a sack.
In all, Jones was sacked six times on Sunday, a career-high. He consistently been under pressure all season which not only has affected his play but also led to his injury. How happens to coach the offensive line? That would be Patricia. Maybe he should actually focus on coaching his unit because right now they are awful. It seems tough for him to call plays and coach the line at the same time.
Now I know fans will point to the difference in play between Jones and Bailey Zappe, but it seems the offense has changed depending on who is under center.
They still have nine games to turn this season around but so far it seems that the lack of coaching on the offensive side of the ball has ruined Mac Jones in his sophomore season.