Jones, Patriots offense struggle again in preseason finale vs. Raiders


The 2022 preseason is over, and it couldn't come soon enough for the New England Patriots.

It's no secret that these three games, especially for the offense, were a struggle for the Pats. The offensive starters scored only one touchdown over the last two games despite playing against mostly backups for the Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders.

The Patriots weren't able to get into the end zone at all versus the Raiders in Friday night's 23-6 loss at Allegiant Stadium.

New England now has two weeks to get ready for the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 of the regular season.

Here are four takeaways from the preseason finale.

1) Mac Jones doesn't look comfortable

Mac Jones didn't look comfortable for most of training camp and the preseason. Installing the new offense has not been an easy or productive process. 

The Patriots' starting quarterback completed nine of 13 pass attempts for 71 yards, zero touchdowns, one interception and a 50.5 passer rating in four drives -- all against Raiders backups on defense. He played a little more than a quarter.

Here's a recap of the four possessions with Jones in at quarterback:

  1. A three-and-out after an 8-yard completion on first down. Jones was sacked on third down.
  2. An eight-play drive that ended with an interception. Jones likely didn't see Raiders linebacker Luke Masterson.
  3. Another three-and-out.
  4. An 11-play drive that should've ended with a back-shoulder touchdown pass to DeVante Parker, but the Patriots wideout was penalized for offensive pass interference. It was a soft call. The Patriots settled for a field goal.

Jones showed some frustration Friday night as the offense struggled to generate any consistency.

Preseason No. 2 was, in many ways, tougher for Jones than what he experienced as a rookie:

It's going to take more practice for Jones, and the team as a whole, to get comfortable in this new offense. And there isn't a ton of time to figure it out, either. Week 1 against the Dolphins in Miami is just two weeks away. Without substantial improvement, the season opener with the Dolphins could be an ugly one for Jones and his offensive teammates.

2) Ty Montgomery injury isn't insignificant

Ty Montgomery suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter and couldn't put any weight on it. He was carted to the locker room and later ruled out for the rest of the game.

The severity of the injury is not known at this time.

Montgomery had a great training camp and played well in the first two preseason matchups. He's primarily been used as a running back but he can also play wide receiver. His versatility makes him a strong third-down option -- a role the Patriots need to fill with James White retiring last week.

If Montgomery misses time with this injury, that opens the door for younger running backs such as J.J. Taylor and Kevin Harris to make the team and potentially feature on third downs. Taylor tallied 54 rushing yards on 14 carries in three preseason games. He also made an incredible play to recover a fumble in the third quarter against the Raiders.

3) Jack Jones shows playmaking ability

Rookie cornerback Jack Jones was all over the field Friday night, particularly in the second half.

He forced a fumble with a huge hit and broke up a pass with another jarring collision. He also broke up a pass deep down field on a crossing route late in the third quarter. It was impressive coverage. 

Jones has a nose for the ball, and he plays with the type of swagger and physicality you see from many of the league's top defensive backs. He probably won't play a huge role as a rookie, but he's definitely an intriguing player with exciting potential. There's a lot of talent there, Jones just needs more experience to put it all together.

4) Revenge Game

It was a good night for former Patriots players now wearing the silver and black.

Jarrett Stidham started at quarterback for the Raiders and put together two quality drives, one that ended in a field goal and another in a touchdown. Stidham looked a lot better than Patriots backups Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe.

Defensive end Tashawn Bower played nine games for the Patriots between the 2020 and 2021 seasons. He tallied five tackles and two sacks against his former team.

Isaiah Zuber played wide receiver for the Patriots last season. He saw snaps at defensive back Friday night and intercepted Zappe in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders have several players and coaches with Patriots experience, which isn't a surprise considering longtime New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is now the head coach in Las Vegas.

Contact Us