The Patriots’ 2022 season was quite the roller coaster. Expectations were initially high after the draft and free agency, but most of that confidence came from the successful season the team put together just the year before.
Mac Jones had an impressive rookie season, and it looked like the Patriots lucked out by having him fall to them in the draft. And the spending spree that was the 2021 offseason appeared to have been money well spent.
But that excitement came to a screeching halt when summer practices began, and the realization hit that Matt Patricia would replace Josh McDaniels as the offensive play-caller. The preseason was a complete disaster and left little hope for a turnaround once the season began, and over the next several weeks, the original expectations felt like a pipe dream.
The team saw their fair share of the blame for how the season unfolded; from Bill Belichick and Patricia to Jones and whoever else could be included, nobody was off limits to fans and the media for the uncharacteristically lousy performance. Although some may feel the blame was placed reasonably amongst those responsible for how the season transpired, Jones received a lot of flack for his play and frustration during games.
It was apparent that the quarterback wasn’t the only one frustrated from the start of the new league year through the regular season. Several offensive players had also expressed their feelings about what was happening with the team during the year. But because Jones was the quarterback and appeared to be regressing, a lot of faults were placed on his shoulders for the overall underwhelming showing by the offense every week.
To make matters worse, Jones barely got support from his head coach throughout all the harsh takes and blame games.
Belichick put on a quarterback carousel after Jones returned from injury. He wouldn’t express confidence in his performance, instead proclaiming faith in the coaches that seemed to be the reason for Jones’ regression. And to top it off, he found it challenging to assert Jones as the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season and the future.
Jones’ teammates rallied around him during the season and even since it ended, but it’s expected for teammates to have each other’s backs. The more surprising support was revealed from a tweet sent by NFL Network’s Mike Giardi on Thursday, citing a conversation with an anonymous player sharing support for the Patriots quarterback.
Reading a player’s perspective about New England’s season is certainly interesting, considering most of the takes on New England and Jones from last year. It is also interesting hearing a player express the same feelings that most fans had when recounting the 2022 season.
Fortunately, the Patriots have been making good moves since the season ended. With the push from Robert Kraft, Patricia will no longer be the offensive coordinator or OL coach, as Bill O’Brien and Adrian Klemm are replacing him. And Joe Judge will be placed into a different role as well, with O’Brien replacing him as the quarterback’s coach.
With adequately experienced coaches now in place, Jones should have all the right tools to have a much better season this fall. It will be a defining season for him as he tries to prove he is a franchise quarterback and the team as they attempt to regain their spot atop the AFC East and make their way back to the Super Bowl.