The Patriots’ 2022 season will be remembered for many things, but not in a fond way. It was full of its ups and downs mixed in with a lot of confusion and frustration, not just from the fans and media but also from the team.
It was an uncharacteristic year for the Bill Belichick-led team, with several mistakes that inevitably depicted the season’s trajectory, with nearly all the worst decisions leading back to the head coach.
Hopefully, when reflecting upon the 2022 season, Belichick won’t make the same mistakes in 2023 and beyond.
The 4 biggest mistakes that doomed the Patriots in 2022
1. Making Matt Patricia the offensive coordinator AND offensive line coach
There were a lot of mixed emotions when news dropped about Josh McDaniels leaving the Patriots to become the Raiders’ next head coach last winter.
Although many had expressed their frustration with his play-calling over the years, there was a lot of concern about who would be the one to replace him. Because nobody was seemingly waiting in the wings ready for the job, most assumed that Bill Belichick would hire a great coach to fill McDaniels’ shoes, particularly Bill O’Brien.
That didn’t happen, however. Instead, the concerns that stemmed from McDaniels departure grew into utter disappointment and confusion when Matt Patricia was seen taking on the role throughout training camp and preseason.
He was recently fired from the Lions after a failed tenure as head coach and had zero experience working with an offense. Given that the offense needed some improvements and Mac Jones needed good coaching, Patricia’s new role wasn’t well received.
With Belichick’s publicly declared support, Patricia called plays throughout the season and coached the offensive line.
The play-calling that felt stale the previous season appeared light years ahead of what was seen on the field during each game. Not only was the offense not working well together, but the offensive line was also making the entire situation much more difficult.
Jones was struggling and appearing to be regressing in his second season, and many blamed the quarterback alone. But with little to no consistency, protection, or help from his offensive line and pass-catchers who had openly expressed their frustration with the offense’s direction, it left little chance of leading a successful team every week.
Fortunately and unfortunately, Robert Kraft reportedly had expressed his unhappiness with how the offensive coaching had been throughout the season and voiced his feelings to Belichick directly in their annual end-of-season meeting. This led to the hiring of Bill O’Brien to replace Patricia as the play-caller and QB coach, along with Adrian Klemm coming in as the new offensive line coach.