The New England Patriots offense is broken.
This group is scoring an NFL-low 12.3 points per game and was shut out for the second time this season during Sunday's Week 13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Patriots don't have a quality starting quarterback. The wide receiver depth chart lacks a true No. 1 option. There are no tight ends signed beyond this season. The offensive line has several weaknesses, too.
Put simply: Every position on offense needs upgrading.
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But which positions on the offensive side of the ball are the most chaotic for the Patriots? On the latest episode of Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast, Phil Perry identified a key position on the offensive line as the most chaotic.
"Can something be chaotic if it is made up of nothingness? Because that's the tackle position right now," Perry told Curran. "You don't have one. You don't have a tackle. Calvin Anderson is under contract for next year. And I can look at Riley Reiff, but does anybody believe that Riley Reiff or Calvin Anderson should be starting for the Patriots at tackle? They don't have a starting tackle.
"That to me has to be No. 1 because at least at quarterback, while I would rank that their greatest need, at least you do have bodies. At receiver, you have bodies. At tackle, you have nothing. Andrew Stueber, is he in the mix to start at tackle? That's the most chaotic position to me right now. It's not the greatest need, but most chaotic."
With Trent Brown able to become a free agent in the offseason, the left tackle spot -- one of the most important positions in the sport -- is a huge concern.
Perry then revealed his ranking of the most chaotic offensive positions on the Patriots roster.
- No. 1: Offensive tackle
- No. 2: Quarterback
- No. 3: Wide receiver
- No. 4: Running back
- No. 5: Guard
- No. 6: Tight end
How should the Patriots address the tackle position? Perry thinks drafting a quarterback and then using the team's abundance of salary cap space (potentially around $100 million) on a veteran tackle and wideout is the best route.
"So instead of spending a boatload of cash on a Kirk Cousins, for instance, coming off of injury, I'm drafting a quarterback and I'm paying one big piece at tackle and one big piece at receiver," Perry said.
"And then at least I feel better about those positions going into the draft. I don't feel like my hand is forced. 'Oh my God, we better spend a second-round pick on a receiver because we really don't have one.' And you panic. Get it shored up to a degree in March, and then that way when the end of April rolls around, you're not backing yourself into a corner."
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Curran brought up tight end as a position that is chaotic, largely for the fact that no one is signed beyond this season. Hunter Henry and Mike Gesicki are both eligible to be unrestricted free agents in the offseason.
"Tight end is insane, too," Curran said. "If you're Hunter Henry, do you want to come back here? You're still a pretty good player. You're gonna have value around the league.
"Do you want to come back for what is going to be a rebuild with either a broken quarterback in Mac Jones, a bad quarterback in Bailey Zappe, or a veteran Gardner Minshew-level quarterback and a draft pick?"
With so many positions on offense needing an upgrade of talent and depth, it'll be interesting to see which types of players the Patriots prioritize going into free agency in March and then the draft in April.
Also in this episode:
- Pros and cons of firing Bill Belichick mid-season
- Should Mac Jones be the backup next season?
- What's the safest position to draft in the top 10?