The New England Patriots offense has underperformed so far this year, and with only three weeks left in the regular season now finds itself at a crossroads. Either it shows some real improvements quickly or else the unit will simply run out of time, and consequently watch the playoffs from home.
Based on the season as a whole and the last few weeks in particular, however, there is little to suggest the unit will finally get on track. While there have been positive developments in some areas — turnovers, for example — the Patriots as a whole remain a basic-level offense that is making mistakes you would not expect to see in late December.
The players and coaches involved have every right to be frustrated with the lack of progress, but according to quarterback Mac Jones it’s all about trusting the process. For him, doing that is the key to not let the frustrations boil over.
“I think it goes back to just trusting the process of everything and doing whatever you can do to become a great football player. Eventually that will show up on film,” the sophomore QB told reporters on Wednesday. “A lot of things as an offense, it’s 11 guys and you have to try to push everybody as a quarterback to do the right thing and make sure we’re all on the same page. We’ve done that at times, but just getting that consistency.
“Obviously with myself, too — just making sure all of my Ps and Qs. Then it takes everybody else as well to hop on the train. It takes everybody. We’re working together, communicating really well, which is important between the players. At the end of the day, we have to go out there and compete for each other and play because we love this game. We have a respect for each other in our room as an offense. That’s the most important part.”
While there have been no real concerns with finding a common purpose or the team’s leadership during the recent struggle — which makes the 2022 Patriots different from, say, the 2009 version — frustrations have reached the surface level from time to time. It is not hard to see why given the current lack of positive results.
Jones in particular was spotted numerous times letting off steam both on the field and the sidelines. He does not see this as a problem, though, as long as it does not affect his performance.
“It’s a big part of the game, playing with passion and emotion,” he said. “I think the best players on every team do that. You can’t let it affect your next play, that’s the biggest thing. Which it hasn’t. It’s all about fixing the things that pop up in a game, right? So, sometimes when they’re reoccurring, we just want to fix them and move on to the next play.
“That’s something that definitely — that’s who I am and that’s how I’ve always been. I want to just be a great teammate however I can be and be a leader too. You want to show positivity as well. When we do things well, I try to do that. We want to do more things well and try to fix the things that we’re working through. That’s all you can do. It’s a game. It shows that you care. I think we have guys that care on our team. I definitely care.”
Jones continues to say all the right thing, but as noted above the Patriots are running out of time: they likely have to win out if they want to make the playoffs, starting this week with a game against the 10-4 Cincinnati Bengals.