Heading into their Week 2 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers there are questions galore for the New England Patriots, especially on the offensive side of the ball. How will Mac Jones look coming off back injury and illness? Will the offensive line show some much-needed improvements? How will the play-calling go?
Also among the uncertainties this week is whether or not wide receiver Kendrick Bourne will see some more action after his virtual disappearing act last Sunday in Miami. Bourne, after all, played only two offensive snaps in the Patriots’ 20-7 loss to the Dolphins in Week 1. He did catch a 41-yard pass in the fourth quarter, but was mostly a non-factor for the Patriots’ struggling offense.
Fans are optimistic that he will play a bigger role this week, though. A look at the latest numbers from SB Nation’s Reacts survey shows this.
Participants were asked how many passes Bourne would end up catching against the Steelers, with a majority of 60 percent picking the “3-4” option. For comparison, only 27 percent believe he will grab between one or two passes; 8 percent went with five or six.
The extreme ends of the spectrum, meanwhile, were chosen by a fraction of voters. A mere 3 percent believe that Bourne will not catch any throws coming his way, while 2 think he will haul in seven or more.
The other questions asked as part of this week’s survey again saw fans share their thoughts on the team’s short- and longer-term outlook.
Despite the disappointing outing in Miami on opening day, 58 percent of participants still believe that the Patriots will come away victoriously versus the Steelers on Sunday. That moderately encouraging level of confidence is not reflected in the bigger-picture results, however.
Only 29 percent of Patriots fans, after all, are confident that the team is headed in the right direction right now — a decrease of 28 points from last week. Meanwhile, only 26 percent believe that New England will ultimately be able to reach the playoffs again.
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