The 2022 NFL offseason was quite a bumpy road for the New England Patriots. James White announcing his retirement, struggles on the offensive line, but none of the offseason issues hit quite as hard as losing Josh McDaniels as the Offensive Coordinator and not finding a replacement for his role.
Sure you can credit McDaniels success to having the greatest QB of all time on his side. But his gutsy play calls, like running a James White draw play on 3rd & 7 in the playoffs, were just as important as anything. New England faces a new challenge this season, finding an offensive identity without McDaniels calling plays.
What Happened in Week One?
"It was a pretty even game, but 2 big plays, 14 points kind of skewed the game."
— NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Coverage (@NBCSPatriots) September 11, 2022
Head coach Bill Belichick made a bold decision before the season started to not hire another Offensive Coordinator on staff. Leaving former Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia to call plays on Sunday for the first time in his career. He made an even more bold statement following the loss, “it was a pretty even game, but 2 big plays, 14 points kind of skewed the game.” That may be true, due to the outstanding defensive production, but he failed to acknowledge the lackluster offensive performance.
Belichick is always thought to be one step ahead of the other coaches, but this decision is one I fear he will end up regretting. The Patriots lost their week one matchup while only putting up seven points on 271 total yards of offense. The run scheme wasn’t near as effective, rushing for only 78 yards. This forced their 2nd year QB to make a lot of plays in 3rd and long situations.
How Can the Patriots Fix Their Offensive Woes?
Bottom line, New England has to act now to fix this and form an offensive identity. The Pats have found their young franchise QB in Mac Jones and the division didn’t get any easier. The Bills and Dolphins both got WAY better this offseason. The last thing you want to do is ruin the relationship with your future at the Quarterback position. Having a predictable offensive scheme seems like a great way to do just that.
Patricia is a great defensive mind, but calling plays on the offensive side of the ball doesn’t seem like the right decision. It may have been his first time ever calling offensive plays, but it was an embarrassing performance. Pick up the phone and bring an OC to New England, make Mac’s life easier, and develop an offensive identity… the season may depend on it.
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