While the New England Patriots defense was putting on a show in Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts, the team’s offense continued its struggles from previous games. The unit scored just one touchdown all day and managed to gain a mere 203 yards while averaging only 3.3 yards per play.
It did not matter in the end, the Patriots still ended up winning 26-3 against an opponent on the verge of imploding. The offensive issues, however, are a definitive concern and plenty of fingers are being pointed at the coaching — especially play-caller Matt Patricia.
One person still in Patricia’s camp, is quarterback Mac Jones. In fact, the sophomore QB sang the coach’s praises both after Sunday’s game and the following day.
“Coach Patricia, obviously, we’ve grown together and he’s done a great job,” Jones said during his postgame presser. “He’s a great leader of men. He loves football just like all of our coaches, and he’s going to give it his all every day from 6 a.m. until whatever it is, 2 in the morning. So, I know that they’re all going to give their all. ...
“It’s not going to be a perfect picture every play. But as long as I’m doing my part, the guys around me are trying to do their part, we’ll be in a good spot.”
Through nine games, the Patriots offense has failed to consistently put itself in good spots, and the numbers reflect it. The team is ranked only 16th in scoring (22.6/game), 25th in expected points added (-0.047/play), 26th in yards (319.9/game) and dead-last in turnovers (17).
Not all of the issues can directly be linked to Patricia, but the first-year play-caller has been part of the problem. From calling a surprisingly low number of RPO or play-action concepts, to being too conservative on early downs, he too needs to improve down the stretch to help the entire unit get back on track.
Jones, however, sounds confident in the example Patricia is setting for his players.
“He works really hard and he’s going to give it his all every day, just like a lot of our coaches and players,” he said on WEEI’s Merloni, Fauria & Mego on Monday. “That’s the important part, just putting in the work. Obviously, you want better results and we’re going to get better results.
“It starts with us as players, but he’s done a good job just keeping it positive and obviously holding us to a standard. We just need to answer that bell a little bit better, and it starts with me. That’s what we’re going to do. He’s done a great job, the coaches are doing well. Getting here early, staying late, putting us in position to win, and we have to go out there and execute better.”