The New England Patriots won their week nine game on Sunday and head into the bye at 5-4. However, they still have a huge quarterback problem. It was an enjoyable Sunday for Patriots’ Nation as they thumped the Indianapolis Colts to get to a solid 5-4 record in what seems to be a historically deep AFC.
The defense sacked San Ehlinger nine times, tying a franchise record, scored a defensive touchdown, and kept the Colts out of the endzone. Yet again, it was another strong defensive performance.
However, on the other side of the ball, the Patriots largely struggled to score points, scoring just one offensive touchdown. They faced their own three an outs. Mac Jones missed some throws and took some bad sacks that he’d surely like to have back.
The win was the most convincing one of the NFL weekend, but it doesn’t change the long-term view of the Patriots. The reality is just that. Mac Jones has regressed in year two. He has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, and the team has a huge quarterback problem.
Being 5-4 with this quarterback play is nothing short of amazing. As a unit, the quarterbacks have thrown nine touchdowns against 10 interceptions for a 85.1 passer rating. The 68% completion percentage is nice, but that’s about all the good to take from the room.
Bailey Zappe has shown better command of the offense and has led the offense to more points. He’s also 2-0 as a starter this year, but for whatever reason, the Patriots have reinvested themselves back into Mac Jones after some uncertainty during his injury recovery.
The Patriots are on pace to finish 9-8 this year, and that might not be enough to clinch a playoff spot, but it’s a winning record nonetheless. Going into the 2023 offseason, the team is going to have to make a huge commitment either way:
Do they stay with Mac Jones and hope he turns it around in year three, or do they put their chips all in for another quarterback? It looks like there could be some serious quarterback movement again this year.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Tom Brady, and Baker Mayfield are free agents. I could see someone like Derek Carr or Matt Ryan be traded or released, and the status of Lamar Jackson is up in the air. Arguably, all of those options would present noticeable upgrades over what they’ve gotten from the room this year.
Let’s not get too caught up in the dominant defensive performances from the squad, because there’s a huge issue that still needs addressed.