New England Patriots

  • Last time we saw Mac Jones, he was clearly frustrated with the state of the Patriots’ offense. He was caught on the sideline late in last Thursday’s loss to the Bills letting his emotions out regarding the Patriots’ scheme.

    A week later, Jones took to the podium for his weekly press conference and got more in depth about the Patriots’ offense and what he hopes to see from the unit over the final month and a half of the season. Asked on Thursday for his summation of the Patriots’ offensive situation heading into Monday night’s matchup with the Cardinals, Jones told reporters, “[We’re] just continuing to work through the things that we want to get better at and then look at the things we didn’t do well and adjust those or move on from them.”

    That answer led to an important follow-up for the quarterback of the league’s 20th ranked offense – what is it that he feels the offense does well?

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  • Jones’ answer fit the mold of many he’s given in his almost two years in New England. He hyped up his teammates, and despite being asked a question that opened the door for a positive answer discussed areas of improvement.

    “I think we have guys that play together, which is important,” he began. “We play for one another and when we do that and everyone does their job, we can do whatever we want.”

    “We’ve got to be able to, like I always say, run whatever plays, whenever, however we want to run them,” he continued. “That’s the job as players. And we can do a better job of that, and we’re just striving for that every day in practices. Being able to run it when we want to run it, being able to play action when we want to play action, throw when we want to throw, just be able to dictate whatever we want to do on our terms.”

    “That’s important as an offense and obviously be aggressive and attack and score points. I think that’s what we need to improve on, and that comes with not focusing on scoring points,” Jones said, getting deeper into the issues. But, what’s this about not focusing on scoring points?

    “You kind of have to ‘alright, this is the play,’ execute the play and don’t put a result on it, just do the best you can,” he explained. “If I’m supposed to throw it here, throw it there as best I can and then eventually you have seven, eight plays, you get closer to the endzone and when you get down there it’s the same thing. A play is a play regardless of third down, red zone, doesn’t matter. That’s the biggest thing that we’re working on right now is when we put good plays on film, we score points. It’s all about producing good plays.”

  • Dec 1, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) on the field against the Buffalo Bills in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 1, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) on the field against the Buffalo Bills in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

  • What Jones is getting at here is actually something that has been an understated struggle of the Patriots’ offense this season. It’s not just that they’ve been inconsistent putting points on the board, but they’ve often been unable to maintain and extend possessions entirely.

    The Patriots’ issues scoring in the red zone have been well-covered this year, but something that’s gone a bit more under the radar is how little they’ve gotten down to that end of the field. Their 32 red zone trips are tied for the third-fewest in the league this season, ahead of just the Panthers and Broncos.

    Failing to extend drives is why the Patriots can’t get to the red zone right now. Their third down conversion percentage is 36.2 percent, which ranks 28th in the NFL. Their average drive is 5.5 plays, which ranks 29th. 26 percent of their drives are ending without them picking up a single first down.

    What the Patriots need to do right now is find a way to string plays together to start building up their drives. That’s how the points will come in this offense. The fact their young quarterback recognizes that, instead of getting impatient with the current state of the offense.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at