The New England Patriots have obviously had a frustrating season, with the club sitting at 2-7 ahead of Sunday’s game against Indianapolis in Frankfurt Germany.
While the team has gotten a reasonably solid effort week-to-week from their defense, things remain a mess on offense, which had another inconsistent showing last Sunday against Washington.
Part of that certainly hinges on injuries and their lack of overall talent in the passing game, but things are apparently showing up on film internally where the coaching staff sounds like it’s frustrated with what they’re seeing from their quarterback.
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the decision-making by Mac Jones continues to be a bone of contention. Breer said that there have been some recent plays where, after reviewing the game tape, things are happening out there that coaches just can’t make sense of after seeing Jones fail to execute.
“So one thing that’s really infuriated people in the building is the decision-making,” said Breer during an appearance on NBC Sports Boston Wednesday. “They’ve been sold this efficient game-managing quarterback, and they’re not getting it. The decision-making hasn’t been good. They see him passing up open receivers. They see things, quite frankly, that you wouldn’t see from a quarterback who has those sorts of qualities.”
“So it’s not just the physical limitations now, it’s also that it doesn’t feel like he’s really taking the coaching, and that creates a much bigger problem. Because if this is who Mac Jones is, and we’ve seen some of the defiance bubble over in the press conferences, if he’s not running the offense as it’s prescribed, well then, what do you have? Because it’s not like he can put the cape on and be Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, you know what I mean? If you don’t have that one part of it, then what do you have?”
Breer cited an example in the third quarter of Sunday’s game where Jones actually checked into a play that, after review, was a good call because it set up a potential touchdown pass to Mike Gesicki.
However, Jones didn’t pull the trigger and instead scrambled and picked up three yards. That apparently left coaches “baffled” while trying to figure out why he didn’t make the throw.
“There was a point in the game in the third quarter, it’s right here, where Mac Jones checked to a throw to Mike Gesicki. Mike Gesicki came wide open down the seam, you can see him down there,” explained Breer. “Mac Jones, as you can see there, tucked the ball and ran with it. The coaches, I know, were baffled because he checked to that play, that play’s designed to go to Gesicki, Gesicki comes wide open down the seam, that thing might be a touchdown. He pats the ball, tucks it, and runs around the corner, scrambles for three yards.”
“I think there’s some self-doubt, too, because there are other examples of plays I’m told there where he’s checked to screens and they’ve gotten blown up. It’s like the wiring’s off right now. So it’s beyond everything else, like, the wiring’s off. When you check to a certain play because you see something and the play works, and the receiver is open, and all you have to do is pull the trigger and make the throw, and you’re tucking the ball and running around the corner for three yards, something’s not right.”
Bill O’Brien sort of alluded to some of this on Tuesday as he spoke to reporters. Evan Lazar of Patriots.com asked O’Brien about Jones’ decision-making, noting that the quarterback appeared to be rushing through his reads.
O’Brien agreed, and said that’s among the things both Jones and the offense need to improve on in order to become more consistent.
“I think there’s some truth to that,” said O’Brien. “I think that it kind of goes under the umbrella of what it’s been for most of the year for us is inconsistency. So it’s not just about one guy. You can really say that about, obviously, the whole offense, and so we just need to be more consistent, whether it’s coaching it better, or executing it better.”
“Really, it’s not just Mac, it’s every position. I think that we’re striving for that consistency, we still haven’t really found it, and we’re still working hard to get it. There’s a lot of football left, and hopefully, we can find it, starting this weekend.”
“But that’s really what it falls under. There were times on Sunday where, Mac, like, the touchdown pass to Hunter was just a beautiful play, and then other times where, yeah, maybe he was a little bit sped up, and we’ve got to do a better job of coaching it up and working with him. But at the end of the day, we all just have to strive for more consistency.”
Whether or not any of that changes this week is another story. Jones and the Patriots are in Germany preparing for the Colts, with kickoff scheduled for 9:30am ET on Sunday.
Posted Under: Patriots News