The New England Patriots lost to the Cowboys on Sunday. The offense only scored 3 points in this game. Mac Jones was not a quality passer against Dallas. He turned the ball over 3 times. Two of which led to immediate points by the Cowboy defense. Dallas converted a 2 point try on a fake FG to make 15 points off of turnovers.
Through the first four games the season the Patriots have scored 55 points.
Through the first four games of last year, they scored 74.
Since the Patriots lost Tom Brady, their ability to stand toe to toe with playoff bound teams has come down to the fact that they beat themselves with turnovers and missed chances. Making the game more challenging against a quality opponent.
Often when the finger pointing starts, it is a case of Mac Jones isn't this. Bill Belichick can't coach anymore. The Patriots don't have a true number 1 receiver. And probably a few more that can be named.
I agree that having a number 1 receiver would go a long ways towards helping Mac. It would give him a solid blanket that he could trust. Someone who can get open consistently and hurt the defense would help him a lot.
I feel that Mac can be a solid quarterback. But his game needs to touch a new level when the Patriots are playing better than average teams. Unfortunately, his game has yet to do that. At times he seems to press instead of allowing it to happen. This is what I saw Sunday.
Coach Belichick to me has not lost his touch on the game. But it is obvious that his offense needs help badly. The defense has been improving. Although it took a hit with the loss of Christian Gonzalez leaving the game with his injury. Then Matt Judon left the game as well. The Patriots need to find players on offense who can help them win games. Or find better ways to use the players they have on offense. The Patriots must also execute better and be more efficient on offense as well.
Because they have to be perfect on offense, they don't leave themselves a lot of room for error. Thus it makes it more challenging when they drop passes, miss blocks, or turn the football over.
The fact that the Patriots struggle to overcome themselves is the largest problem that has yet to be accounted for. Add in that the offense starts pressing to make plays. And make situations worst by doing so.
I can't and will not make excuses for the Patriots with this past game. I feel like 70% of the game falls on Mac's shoulders. He cannot turn the football over recklessly like he did against Dallas in any game at all. 15 points off turnovers helped the Cowboys. Mac seemed uncomfortable for most of the afternoon. Leaving the pocket when he didn't have to. Missing reads. And also being jumpy in the pocket during the game.
Mac has been throwing from decaying pockets for every game so far this season. The Jets didn't sack him last week. But Mac has been under duress a lot this year. Seeing him panic and try to do more than was necessary was concerning for me.
If Mac doesn't learn to play with more poise and self control in big games, he will not be the guy going forward.
The coaching and the rest of the offense account for the other 30% of this game. The defense gets some of this as well. But the defense to a large degree has held up their end as much as possible when the games are live. It is difficult to ask your defense to always make plays and save games while being on the field for the majority of the game. They get tired.
My reasoning for the coaching and the offense getting the other 30% of the blame is this. Evan Lazar was saying in his film review that you can read on Patriots.com is that Devante Parker was open a lot in this game. I have never understood trading for Parker to begin with. Nor his value to the team. This isn't to say that isn't a capable player. But good players rise to the occasion. They make plays for you when you need them. And I have yet to see that much come from Parker. Defenses are not afraid of him nor anyone else who plays WR or TE for the Patriots.
Which raises questions to why Demario Douglas has not gotten more chances in the passing game. His skill set needs to be unlocked. I also feel that Kayshon Boutte should get more chances in the offense because despite some mistakes in the first game, he showed some ability. Boutte also has good acceleration. Lastly, where is Ty Montgomery?
I thought this game against Dallas would be a good game to get Ty involved and allow him to move as a flexible piece around the formation to get favorable match ups for him to win one on one. OR against zone coverage. He only played 1 snap on offense the whole game. Again, this raises a lot of questions as to what the vision for the offense is going forward.
To me, along with the missed opportunities like Mac Jones not being able to hit Mike Gesicki in the back of the end zone with a pass. These are the things that are killing the Patriots on offense. They have opportunities and they aren't making the plays. Which leads to the offense turning the ball over or settling for FGs on promising drives.
The missed opportunities are moments you can't get back. And this makes the other team more difficult to overcome.
The game for the Patriots on offense must go up 2 notches when a play needs to be made.
I am curious as to how Coach Belichick will respond. And more importantly how Mac will respond to this kind of avalanche.