By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
Make no mistake about it: the Patriots offense was sluggish again on Sunday, but I emerge from the win over the Cowboys with more confidence in the offense than I've felt in weeks.
Sure, the Patriots only scored 13 points, but there were indications that better things are to come for a unit that has struggled all year long. The results on the scoreboard may not have been there, but some positive signs were.
I believe this offense will improve.
The return of Isaiah Wynn at left tackle was a major development and clearly gave the offensive line a much-needed boost. Not having to watch Marshall Newhouse try to get Tom Brady murdered on national television made my Sunday a lot better. I'm sure it made your Sunday far more enjoyable, too.
While the line play was still far from perfect, it was easy to notice Wynn's impact on the ground. For the first time in 2019, the Pats ran the ball even close to effectively, and it came on a day where they needed it. The conditions and the available personnel demanded that the Pats establish some sort of rushing attack. They were able to do that and that should give you hope that they will be able to run the ball at times in the future.
Keep in mind that the Patriots were also missing Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett, forcing them to rely on rookies N'Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers. Both young wideouts had positive and negative moments, but they did enough to contribute to an offense that sorely needed them to step up.
Hopefully Brady won't have to rely on Harry and Meyers as much as he did on Sunday, but both showed signs that they could find ways to be impactful moving forward, ideally in reduced roles.
Brady's role in winning a championship this year will likely be reduced too, and that's okay. The Patriots are built to win on the defensive side of the ball and don't need to ask the world from their 42-year-old quarterback who may not be the all-world player he once was.
But Brady's ability to put his team in a position to win is still unmatched. There's nobody on earth I trust more to not turn the ball over, maintain good field position, and make a big play or two when it's needed the most than Tom Brady.
He did that on Sunday, and there's no reason to think he can't do it for the rest of the season.
The Patriots don't need some kind of massive improvement on the offensive side of the ball, they just need to be able to play complementary football. They are more than capable of that, and Sunday seemed like a small step in that direction, even if 13 points was all they had to show for it.
The offensive line should get better, the wide receivers should get better, and as a result, Brady should get better.
That seems like a winning formula to me.
You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.