Kendrick Bourne couldn’t contain his frustration with the Patriots’ offense


What started off as a few questions turned into a scrum that wouldn’t end for Kendrick Bourne after a dejecting Thursday night loss when few players wanted to talk much to media.

Amid a number of questions about the offense’s inability to move the ball consistently on the Bills and generate points outside of their first-quarter touchdown drive and their garbage-time field goal, Bourne tried to be diplomatic and complementary about the offensive scheme and execution.

But the longer he talked, the more the curtain got peeled back on the frustrations he and perhaps other players have been harboring about the Patriots’ offense.

Like Jones, who went viral for screaming on the sideline for more explosive plays during the game, the second-year Patriots receiver pointed to the Patriots lack thereof as a major issue.

“We got to get the ball downfield. I think Mac needs more time. He’s obviously running around, so it’s hard to get the ball downfield when you can’t really have time for him to throw. No knock to the line, it’s just what we need to work on. The receivers can’t do nothing if the ball can’t get downfield. If we can’t throw it past five yards, it’s going to be a long game.

Shout-out to the Bills. They did a great job controlling the clock, keeping us off the field, keeping us cold and stagnant. It was a great game plan they had. We just got to be able to get the ball downfield. We have plays, but we can’t get to them. We’re calling them, but they’re just not working.”

But Bourne’s most noteworthy comments came in reference to the Patriots’ woeful third-down production (3-for-12) and what the team needed to do to improve in that situation.

“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.”

New England’s predictably and repetitive nature on offense is no secret. Several ex-players and experts have broken down Matt Patricia’s incredibly simplistic offense and its penchant for running the same plays over and over again to the unit’s detriment – Patricia’s attempt at running the same slow-developing screen multiple times and watching it go nowhere was the latest example.

But this comment from Bourne is different: an admission the Patriots don’t scheme or adjust well to what other defenses are doing to them on third downs. Coming into Thursday night’s action, New England ranked 25th in football on third downs, converting just 37.14 percent. That number’s only about to get worse, and the coaching appears to be a huge reason for that.

This comes after Patriots players were caught saying earlier this year that opponents were calling out their plays repeatedly – something they and others downplayed in the media. But when you combine that with Bourne basically saying the offense plays right into defenses’ hands on third downs, it’s hard to dress that up.

Bourne (one catch for 15 yards) didn’t do much on his own account in this game and might well get sent to the proverbial gulag for his candid assessment of the Patriots’ offensive performance and coaching.

But thanks to him, we have one more piece of evidence that definitively tells you what the problem is with this offense.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports