It's been three days since the Patriots' embarrassing 38-3 blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys. After letting this game digest for a few days and learning about the devastating injuries to Matthew Judon and Christian Gonzalez, one person should be held responsible for yet another slow start.
That person is Bill Belichick, the general manager. However, if things do not improve, it'll be time to consider replacing Bill Belichick as the coach.
No matter what angle it is looked at, the road of struggles the Patriots have been on since the departure of Tom Brady lead back to Bill Belichick. For the third straight season, the Patriots are starting 1-3. But, for the second straight season, the Patriots offense is a complete mess despite bringing back offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.
Why is the offense struggling again, and how does it lead to Belichick being at fault?
The receiving corps has been a letdown so far. The Patriots' splash this offseason, JuJu Smith-Schuster, has not worked out. Meanwhile, the receiver he essentially replaced, Jakobi Meyers, is looking better with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Even though it's been four weeks, it was a mistake to let Meyers go and replace him with Smith-Schuster. Meyers should have never left New England, and Bill Belichick should have negotiated a new deal. Instead, Bill stuck to the "Belichick way" and let him walk.
As for the rest of the receivers, Belichick again stuck to his ways and got a bunch of guys who are not of a wide receiver one quality. He had the chance to bring in a superstar in Deandre Hopkins, but again, Belichick let him walk. Hopkins would have helped out Mac Jones and the other receivers. Instead, he's letting every free agent who comes into his office walk away.
Something else that needs to end from Belichick is these team-friendly deals. For some reason, he rarely signs free agents to their actual worth. It took almost the entire offseason to give Matthew Judon a long overdue extension. He also gave Devante Parker a three-year, 33 million dollar extension as well.
It's yet to be determined if this extension was the right amount. If it is, Belichick will be praised; if not, more questions will be asked about why he gave Parker that much money.
What about the NFL draft?
Until he got hurt, Christian Gonzalez built his path to being the defensive rookie of the year. As great as it's been having Gonzalez, was it wise to trade down? Broderick Jones, the offensive tackle from Georgia who is now on the Pittsburgh Steelers, was sitting right there.
The Patriots offensive line needs help and needs it badly. Jones could have helped with his athletic ability. But instead, Belichick can't help himself and trades down and goes defense.
There was also last year when the Patriots selected Cole Strange. Collectively, every Patriots fan went something to the tune of "Who?" and rightfully so. Strange has been a massive disappointment in 2023 and is slowly starting to look like a potential bust.
Also, the entire 2019 draft class by the Patriots is no longer on the team. That class was headlined by one of the biggest disappointments in Patriots draft history, wide receiver N'Keal Harry. Patriots fans know who was available and who Belichick overlooked to pick Harry.
Now, let's look at one of the biggest mistakes Belichick has made in recent years. Belichick had Matt Patricia and Joe Judge coaching the offense in 2022. Instead of hiring a new offensive coordinator after Josh McDaniels' departure, he instead had two coaches who had no idea what they were doing run the offense. To this day, nobody understands why Belichick did this.
It's no secret. The Patriots aren't the same dominant team from when Tom Brady was around. But, instead of going out and getting players that can improve the Patriots, Bill Belichick has sat back and gone after average players with the occasional good player or guys who are bottom of the barrel.
With the Patriots being expected to have the most cap space next offseason, it might be wise to have Belichick step down as general manager by the end of this season. Otherwise, the longer Belichick is in power as the general manager, the longer Patriots fans and Robert Kraft will have to wait for a postseason win or even another berth.