Read Mac Jones’ lips.
The Patriots’ struggling sophomore quarterback was spotted screaming expletives on the sideline late in their lifeless 24-7 loss to the Bills, cussing out the short passing game and begging to throw the ball downfield.
the patriots have hit rock bottom
“Throw the [expletive] ball! Quick game sucks!,” he appeared to yell.
After the game, Jones played the familiar role of damage control, telling reporters he was trying to fire up the team.
“I shouted that out to get everyone going. That’s emotional. That’s football,” said Jones. “I’m passionate this game. Obviously, you don’t want to let your emotions get the best of you, but yeah, that’s pretty much it.”
The Patriots could mask their offensive woes when they were playing Zach Wilson and Sam Ehlinger. Despite only scoring three points against the Jets Nov. 20, Bill Belichick stood at the podium and actually said the Patriots “moved the ball well.”
But when playing Josh Allen, it’s necessary to score, and the Patriots can’t do that with any regularity. Matt Patricia is failing as the de-facto offensive coordinator, and Joe Judge is failing as quarterbacks coach. It’s a grim picture that everybody forecasted, except Belichick.
Sticking Jones with Patricia and Judge might be the worst coaching decision of Belichick’s storied career. Jones ultimately may not be good enough, but he’s been put in a brutal situation. Two failed head coaches with no offensive backgrounds were put in charge of revamping New England’s offense.
Their work has never looked good. By all accounts, training camp was a disaster, and the start of the regular season was uninspiring.
Players have groused along the way, with Kendrick Bourne, one of their few playmakers, finding himself in the doghouse.
Bourne may land back in Patricia’s purgatory following his critiques of the Patriots’ moronic third-down strategy of throwing check downs (they went 3-for-12 on third down).
“Yeah, man, we need to scheme up better. We need to know what they’re doing. We need to know what they wanna do on third down. … They call this, and we call that, and it falls right into what they want,” said Bourne.
Those remarks imply the Patriots aren’t making adjustments. Earlier this season, Patriots players were caught saying opponents were calling out their plays — causing Belichick to embarrassingly downplay that admission to the media.
There’s a reason the Patriots are 25th in the league on third downs, and it isn’t only Jones. Patricia refuses to let him throw downfield, until it’s too late.
Then again, their offensive line is terrible, so Jones seldom has enough time to throw. Patricia is in charge of that unit as well.
Parades of ex-players — Dan Orlovsky, Kurt Warner, Matt Hasselbeck — have criticized the Patriots for their simplistic and predictable offensive scheme. At times, it doesn’t even seem like they’re trying.
Why else throw a 5-yard out route to Jakobi Meyers on 3rd-and-14, or constantly run the ball on 2nd-and-10? Egregiously, the Patriots punted the ball twice in the fourth quarter when they were down two scores and close to midfield.
Their game plans stink, and their in-game management is even worse. The Patriots prematurely burned their two timeouts at the end of the first half, leaving Jones naked with 31 seconds left and the ball inside Buffalo territory.
“That timeout strategy was not New England-like,” said a noticeably disgruntled Al Michaels.
That was the case when Tom Brady was around. But now, that’s exactly who the Patriots are. Patricia is the symbol of their sad decline.
And Belichick put him in position to bring it all down.