Are brighter days ahead for Mac Jones and the New England Patriots offense?
It hasn't been pretty for the Pats on that side of the ball through the first two weeks of the 2023 NFL season. Jones has been serviceable under center, but a porous offensive line topped off by a glaring lack of weapons has proven costly in the team's losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins.
But what if we told you there was reason for optimism heading into Week 3?
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Boston sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
SumerSports director of communications Shawn Syed joined Phil Perry in a new episode of the Next Pats Podcast and shared a positive outlook on the Patriots offense, starting with offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.
🔊 Next Pats: Forget the fumble and FEED Pop Douglas | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube
"To me, every single offensive coordinator's responsibility in the league is to get the absolute most out of whatever pieces they have that make up the offense. Most get there by building a system that maximizes their quarterback's strengths, stay away from weaknesses, and put them in positions to succeed," Syed said. "I think it is fair to say Mac Jones has some limitations but Bill O'Brien, to me, on film has done a very good job given the circumstances.
"He uses all sorts of tools to make a quarterback's life easier, whether that's spreading out the defense in empty formations. He used a bunch of those bunch sets where you have those three receivers tight together, especially against the Eagles. That forces the defense to communicate. And just watching concept after concept, they logically build off of each other. And he's getting Mac Jones to play really fast. So that's something that I think Mac Jones is able to succeed in because he is extremely accurate in short areas. Whatever you think his shortcomings may be, he does do that really well. So you want him to deliver that ball pretty quickly."
MORE PATRIOTS COVERAGE
Slow starts caused by self-inflicted wounds have been the theme of the first two games of the season for New England. If those issues are resolved, Syed believes the Patriots' offense can get back on the right track.
"I do think, given everything, it is a situation that the Patriots are able to build a winning team around that structure they have between Mac Jones and Bill O'Brien, but you do need maybe more things to go in your favor, especially the turnover battle," Syed said. "I'm excited going forward that the Patriots aren't going to play every single game starting off down 14-0. I think that's going to be more fun for Patriots fans and better for the offense as a whole to get things rolling."
The road doesn't get any easier for Mac Jones and Co. over the next couple of weeks. They'll take on a fearsome New York Jets defense this Sunday, followed by a tough Dallas Cowboys unit in Week 4.
Also discussed in the episode:
- What's the Patriots' offensive identity after two weeks?
- Why the Patriots need to play Demario "Pop" Douglas.
- Is there a run-game renaissance in the NFL?
- Syed on why Bill Belichick is still a great defensive coach.