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MORSE: Observations From Another Patriots Sunday, Another New Way to Lose

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
1 month ago at 6:30 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary

MORSE: Observations From Another Patriots Sunday, Another New Way to LoseCandice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots should have won this game.  They are finding new and inventive ways to lose games.  This week it’s DeVante “Velcro” Parker’s turn to blow the game.  Mac Jones drops a bomb down the sideline right into the hands of Parker, who has two strides on his defender, and he drops the pass.  Further, Parker claims it was on his fingertips and doesn’t take responsibility for the drop after the game.  If you have read my articles, you know I am not a fan of Parker.  This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  Parker must go!  He had 1 catch on 3 targets for 7 yards.  Greg Hill from WEEI stated this morning on his show that Parker should be cut, and I agree.

On the other side Kendrick Bournes had a very good game.  He caught 10 passes of 11 targets for 89 yards and added another 14 yards on a jet sweep.  That’s the kind of production we need.

Mac Jones completed 24 of 33 passes for 200 yards.  He threw for a high percentage on a very short time to pass.  He got the ball out quickly with the exception of one ball he held and got sacked.  The final sack for a safety was not his fault.  The TE chipped Crosby and Vedarian Lowe absolutely whiffed on the block.  Unfortunately, Jones had that awful Interception when he overthrew a wide-open Hunter Henry.

The Patriots started their 6th different Offensive Line combination of the year.  This might have been the worst group yet.  Two rookies at guard.  Atonio Mafi is still making the same mistakes week after week.  He cannot make the switch on any games that are played by the DL.  He holds onto the double team block too long and can’t recover.  I put this on Offensive Line coach Adrian Klemm.  If a player is making the same mistake, then it’s the coach who is not coaching him up.  Trent Brown is not the same player in the 4th quarter as he is in the 1st.  Because he is out of shape, he gets tired in the 4th and gets sloppy with his techniques.  He slows down and it’s easy for defenders to go right around him.  Pro Football Focus loves him and ranks him 4th in the league.

I feel bad for David Andrews, as he has rookies on each side of him.  Which one does he help?  Vederian Lowe is rated 72 of 74 OTs in the league.  With two tackles per team (64), Lowe is ranked as a backup player by a significant amount.  Atonio Mafi is ranked 78 and Sidy Sow is 76 out of 79 Offensive Guard, and both are rated as backups.  In years past, Dante Scarnecchia could take mediocre talent and get the best out of them.  Scar also was able to develop low round draft picks into legitimate NFL lineman.  Sow (4th Rd #117) and Mafi (5th Rd #144) are rookies and Lowe is in his 2nd year (6th Rd # 184).  In the past these guys would have been given time to develop.  However, because of injuries to Cole Strange, Michael Owenu, Reilly Reiff and Ty Wheatley, they must play now.   I think Calvin Anderson needs to play and Lowe sat down.  Anderson was a 2019 Undrafted Free Agent out of Rice.  He has more experience than Lowe.   The O-line needs to clean up the penalties.  They had back-to-back penalties to start the game and then three straight to finish the gain.  That’s undisciplined football and again the coach needs to be held accountable.

The Patriots played a bend don’t break defense.  They allowed plays underneath to shrink the field and they prevented the big play.  JC Jackson played very well against Devante Adams holding him to 2 catches on 5 targets for 29 yards.  A very commendable job.  The TE’s were 7 of 9 underneath the Linebackers.  Ja’Whaun Bentley has a very hard time covering a TE.  Jalen Mills was just plain awful, trailing even the TE’s in coverage.  Jon Jones got hurt in the 4th quarter and the Patriots were forced to go with Shaun Wade.

Jabrill Pepper played perhaps his best game of the season.  His big hit (clean) on Davante Adams resulted in the interception by Jahlani Tavai.  Peppers led the team in tackles with 7, all solo tackles.

The one big play the Patriots gave up was a 48 yard catch that Kyle Dugger blew the coverage.  Dugger was the Free Safety who stepped up to make a play on a covered TE, vacating the deep middle.  He should have been there!  That play lead to a Raiders Field Goal in the 3rd quarter.  One chunk play all game and it may have cost the Patriots the game.

What has happened to Rhamondre Stevenson and his catching ability?  He dropped another pass right in his breadbasket that he nearly fumbled right into the lap of a defender.  Stevenson is trying to run with the ball before he has secured the ball.  Come on coach Sunseri, correct this bad habit in practice.  Another repeat offender.

Why was WR Jalen Reagor active and rookie Kayshon Boutte can’t get out of the Bill Belichick Doghouse?  The whole league knows what Reagor is, a journeyman receiver at best.  Why is he playing when a player you are using a roster spot on, remains inactive?

An interesting story came out this past week from Jakobi Meyers (who hurt his former team with a TD) that Bill Belichick never offered him a contract during Free Agency.  Is this another case of Belichick spiting a player that criticized his hand-picked coaching staff (Patricia and Judge)?  The Patriots settled for Juju Smith-Schuster to replace Meyers.  Smith-Schuster is washed up according to multiple reports.

The Patriots did run the ball well, especially in the 2nd half.  Ezekiel Elliott looked spry.   He had 7 carries for 34 yards, a TD and a 4.9 per carry average.  Stevenson ran 10 times for 46 yards, a TD and a 4.6 average.  We need to see more of that.

The Defense held the Raiders to an average of 2.5 yards a carry.  Jacobs, who led the league in rushing last year, was held to 77 yards on 25 carries for a 3.1 average.  This was a total team effort up front with Barmore and Jennings making positive impressions.  Unfortunately, Keion White went out early with a concussion.  That’s both the top two picks out with injury and Marte Mapu making a minimal impact.  Bill Belichick the GM didn’t address the Offensive line and chose Defense over Offense.

The Patriots had no pass rush yesterday and recorded zero sacks.  Josh Uche was invisible.  Without White there was nothing from the interior.

The penalties to Sam Roberts for leverage and the holding call on Hunter Henry were weak.  Hell, if that’s the threshold then there should be a penalty called on every play.

It’s time to accelerate the succession plan.  Robert Kraft needs to take the GM duties away from Bill Belichick.  When he does that, Belichick has a decision to make, whether to accept a lesser role at his age, or hand in his resignation.   The roster construction from Draft choices to which players they resign and the way they go about making offers to free agents is all Bill Belichick’s fault.  He then makes the final decision on who makes the team.

They need a new system here on how to evaluate talent.  Recent articles by Andrew Callahan and Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald have indicated that the Patriots Front Office and, in particular, Bill Belichick do not use analytic analysis in their evaluations, but rather their gut feel.  They are not listening to their scouts.

Posted Under: Patriots Commentary

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