East Rutherford, NJ — The Patriots are in the win column for the first time this season with a 25-6 win over the Jets, but New England’s offense is still trying to figure itself out.
Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones led his side of the ball on two touchdown drives, with New England scoring 25 points on the New York defense. Still, the Pats were 1-for-3 in the red zone, are now 2-for-7 in the red area this season, and didn’t cash in on their scoring opportunities.
Looking at the offensive woes, the first thing you point to is a lack of explosive passing plays.
In general, the likelihood the offense will score a touchdown on a drive skyrockets when they produce at least one play of 20-plus yards. Two plays? It’s almost a guarantee.
However, the Patriots only have seven explosive plays through the air in their first two games, and the longest play from scrimmage for the Pats this season is 32 yards.
Furthermore, rookie Mac Jones’s average depth of target through two games is 6.1 yards, which is low. For comparison, Russell Wilson led the league in aDOT at 10.9 yards in Week 1.
Following Sunday’s win over the Jets, the Pats’ first-round quarterback took the blame for the lack of big plays in the passing game.
“I think it was just me,” Jones told CLNS Media. “I can push the ball downfield more. I can definitely hold the ball in a good way. Maybe just move and try to make a better throw downfield.”
Although Jones is taking the high road, he’s far from the only one to blame for the Patriots offense, which was 31st in explosive plays last season, struggling to create chunk plays.
New England’s offensive line needs to share in the blame as well. Jones was under pressure a lot in the first half against the Jets, with blitzes and stunts plaguing the O-Line.
Here, the Jets ran a LB/DT stunt with the off-ball linebacker looping around the penetration by the defensive tackle as an unblocked rusher to the quarterback. Was there an opportunity to attack the end zone here? Maybe, if Jones had more time in the pocket.
Another part of the blame pie goes to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who, at times, is conservative with his play-calling and isn’t getting the Pats’ new weapons open downfield.
Plus, outside of newcomer Nelson Agholor, the Pats don’t have a plethora of deep threats.
After reviewing the coaches ‘ tape from Sunday’s win over the Jets, we’ll get a better feel for who should take the biggest shares of the blame pie.
But the Patriots’ quarterback felt he was part of the problem in that respect during Sunday’s win.