Bill Belichick knows the Patriots’ offensive production still isn’t enough
Even after his defensive put together a (mostly) dominant performance against the New York Jets in Sunday’s 15-10 win, Bill Belichick still had a notable thought on the Patriots’ offense after the game. It’s one that many fans probably agree with too.
Following the game, Belichick was asked about the performance of his team’s offensive line. Within that, he gave an overall thought on the offense as well.
“We’ve just got to convert and get more points than we got,” Belichick noted at the podium. “15’s not going to – generally you’re going to need more than that. But it was good enough today.”
He’s not wrong. Last year across the NFL, teams that scored exactly 15 points in a game went 1-7. The Patriots are the second team to score 15 points this year, after the Titans lost to the Saints 16-15 in Week 1.
Still, some may hear that comment and be surprised given what the Patriots’ overall approach has been to teambuilding and game managements going back to the spring. They’re clearly a defense-first team, built to stifle opposing offenses while their offense controls the ball, controls the clock, and doesn’t turn the ball over – exactly how the team won on Sunday. Yet even with that strategy, 15 points more often than not won’t be enough.
The good news for the Patriots is it shouldn’t always be that much of a struggle to produce on offense. New York features one of the elite defensive units in the league. They’re averaging just over 20 points allowed per game, but that number was inflated last week by four turnovers from the Jets’ offense and the ensuing short fields.
Sunday’s 15-point total for the Patriots’ lowest of the year so far. After scoring 20 points in their opener against the Eagles, they put up 17 last week against the Miami Dolphins.
Too close for comfort: 10 takeaways from the Patriots' win over the Jets
The New England Patriots’ first win of the 2023 season didn’t come easy – for the team or their fans.
On a dreary Sunday afternoon in New Jersey, the Patriots grinded their way to early 10-0 and 13-3 leads before having to hold on for dear life as the New York Jets tried to stage an improbable comeback. The Jets missed that comeback by their fingertips, as the Patriots went on to win 15-10, picking up their 15th consecutive win over their division rival.
Early on it looked like the Patriots were going to have the dominant performance many were looking to as a sign the team was back on track. On offense they scored on two of their first four drives – while getting into field goal position on a third – while defensively they held the Jets to -6 yards on their first four drives.
However, the momentum seemed to change approaching halftime. After a bungled end-of-half sequence saw the Patriots leave points on the board, the Jets came out in the second half and started moving the ball with some regularity. The emergence of a ground game opened things up for Zach Wilson, and the Jets ended up out-gaining the Patriots over the final 30 minutes, 130 yards to 117. That included a 13-play, 87-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that might have been the best of Wilson’s career.
The Patriots responded to that touchdown drive with a safety, to go back up by more than a field goal. Still, the Jets found themselves in position for a late Hail Mary, with the batted ball slipping just out of the reach of wide receiver Randall Cobb in the end zone.
What can we learn, and what questions were raised from this very sudden nail-biter? Let’s go back to the end of the first half and get started.