When the New England Patriots acquired wide receiver DeVante Parker via trade from the Miami Dolphins this offseason, the expectation was that he would add a new dimension to their offense. Parker, after all, is a classic X-receiver who combines size with proven playmaking ability on the perimeter — something New England clearly lacked last season.
While adding the former first-round draft pick to the mix has led to some changes within the Patriots offense, most prominently by freeing Nelson Agholor up to play more of a Z-receiver role, he himself has had a quiet start to his career in New England. Through two games, the 29-year-old has caught just one 9-yard pass on four targets.
Meanwhile, two of the passes quarterback Mac Jones threw his way were intercepted. by the defense; one in Week 1 versus the Miami Dolphins, and another last Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jones has a passer rating of 0.0 when targeting the big-bodied wideout.
There is still a long way to go in the 2022 season, and the Jones-Parker connection has plenty of time to get on the same page. Thus far, however, the wideout is not living up to expectations. A look at the latest numbers from SB Nation’s Reacts survey shows this.
Participants were asked about the biggest surprise of the season, and Parker’s lack of production took the top spot with 33 percent of the vote. The other top vote-getting options include Kendrick Bourne dropping to No. 4 on the wide receiver depth chart (27%) and Mac Jones’ inconsistency so far (25%).
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 team entering the win column versus the Steelers last Sunday, only 42 percent of participants fell confident that the Patriots will win their home opener against the Baltimore Ravens this week. That relative lack of confidence in the team is also reflected in the bigger-picture results of this week’s survey.
Only 55 percent of Patriots fans, after all, feel good about the direction the team is headed to right now — an increase of 26 points from last week but still only the 17th highest confidence score in an NFL-wide comparison. Meanwhile, only 40 percent believe that New England will ultimately be able to reach the playoffs in Year 2 of the Mac Jones era.
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