Improve, Improve, Improve. That’s what the Patriots need to do for next season.
Coming off of a disappointing season, the Patriots need to improve in many different areas of the game, but these three areas could be the simplest way for the Patriots to play the style of football we have grown accustomed to over the past 20+ years.
The first way for the Patriots to improve is to become a more disciplined team. According to statmuse, the Patriots were the 8th most penalized team in football, and I can imagine that is something Belichick will ensure is not repeated next season.
Belichick is adamant about mastering even the smallest details, and the Pats failed at that last year, but they will get back to what we fans are used to and be a truly disciplined Belichick team next season. Not giving up yards on defense and surrendering yards on offense from dumb penalties will help the Patriots improve next season.
Another thing that Belichick considers to be extremely important is special teams play, and last year’s special teams play might have been the worst of the Belichick era.
It was rumored that special teams coach Cam Achord would be fired, but now it doesn’t seem like that will be the case. However, no matter who the special teams coach is, the play needs to improve next year for the Pats to improve.
The third and probably the most crucial improvement the Patriots need to make is getting back to using the middle of the field in the passing game. With Bill O’Brien replacing Matt Patricia as the offensive coordinator, the middle of the field will be a focal point of the passing attack.
The last time we saw O’Brien with the Patriots, he was the offensive coordinator for the 2011 Super Bowl team. That team used a lot of two tight end sets to dominate the middle of the field, and that is something the Pats can do again next year.
Obviously, the talent on the team currently is not that of 2011’s team, but the Pats still have two good tight ends in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, that can help the offense become more dominant over the middle of the field.
I believe the Patriots are more than capable of making these improvements next year and can be right back competing in the playoffs next season.