2019 Pats Offense: What Do We Make of It?

bakahump

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Isnt the simplest answer that Gronk Leaving surprised them? Maybe it shouldnt have or maybe they thought they had one more year. But Its not unreasonable to think that they figured Gronk would be back.

If you agree thats a possible scenerio.
You draft another strong back (to be used with Michel in a Gronk +Strong OL based running attack).
On Defense you draft a Big Corner to protect yourself against the league moving to better TEs. Plus in todays NFL you cant have too good pass coverage.
Then you Go to War.

Gronk retires.
Andrews has his surprise
Wynn gets Turf Toe.

And it is what it is.....for the time being.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I read about way more than just Hockenson and Fant, at different spots on all three days. Dawson looked get-able and worth exploring. Jace Sternberger. Irv Smith. Warring, Moreau. A handful of others. None may workout, even if they had been taken by N.E., but when a glaring need on the team meets a rumored position of depth in the draft, it’s a bit disappointing when the team doesn’t even take a swing. Even more so now, staring down the (practically) NOTHING they have on the 53.
Do you not think the Pats "explored" each of those players? Isn't it possible that the Pats just determined that they didn't think any of them would be particularly good (or, at least, had lower odds of being good than others available at each of their picks)? And, if so, it would seem pretty foolish for the Pats to target a TE that they didn't think would be very good over options at other positions simply because there was a "need" at that position - the Pats have literally never drafted that way, at least during the BB era, nor should they.
 

lexrageorge

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I believe Gronk announced his retirement prior to the draft. We also need to remember that when the draft took place, Gordon was under indefinite suspension. And N'Keal Harry was healthy.

Harry will be eligible to practice in 2 weeks. That will also give him 2 weeks to practice with the team before he's active on game day. I'd be surprised (and concerned) if he was not activated as soon as he was eligible.
 
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Do you not think the Pats "explored" each of those players? Isn't it possible that the Pats just determined that they didn't think any of them would be particularly good (or, at least, had lower odds of being good than others available at each of their picks)? And, if so, it would seem pretty foolish for the Pats to target a TE that they didn't think would be very good over options at other positions simply because there was a "need" at that position - the Pats have literally never drafted that way, at least during the BB era, nor should they.
Right, ‘cause that’s what I was arguing - Why didn’t the Patriots Scout any tight ends? And I know best. Solid point.
 

Rook05

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This offense is problematic. It may not matter, but this could be a lot less painful if they could block more than occasionally.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I agree that the offense is a real problem, especially with so many key guys out injured.

I will say one thing: Jakobi Meyers looks to have great hands. He may not be ready to be a regular contributor now, but he looks to me to be more Malcolm Mitchell than Aaron Dobson.
 

BrazilianSoxFan

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After Josh Gordon went down, and with Phillip Dorsett inactive, the Patriots turned to undrafted rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski to carry the load. To exacerbate the issue, the Pats also dealt with injuries to fullback Jakob Johnson and tight end Matt LaCosse.

“Got kind of forced into one grouping there in the second half. I don’t think that’s ever happened in 20 years,” Brady said after the game.

In the second half, the Patriots played one personnel grouping on every offensive snap: three wide receivers, one tight end and one running back. The three receivers were Edelman, Meyers, and Olszewski.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Jakobi Meyers looks to have great hands.
I think he looks super, super solid.

I actually liked the look of the undermanned, plucky yout' lead offense. Old guys White and Edelman making the chain moving big plays while Gunnah and Jakobi try to worm their way into the Brady Circle of Trust™. Reminded me of the pre-Moss days. They need a TE though. Badly.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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I agree that the offense is a real problem, especially with so many key guys out injured.

I will say one thing: Jakobi Meyers looks to have great hands. He may not be ready to be a regular contributor now, but he looks to me to be more Malcolm Mitchell than Aaron Dobson.
Mitchell was the first name that popped into my head on his catch inside the 10. There have been plenty of guys who have come through and not figured out the back shoulder connection with Brady. Decent insurance policy if they can't swing a trade or get Edelman/Gordon/Harry/Dorsett healthy at the same time.
 

Saints Rest

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I think he looks super, super solid.

I actually liked the look of the undermanned, plucky yout' lead offense. Old guys White and Edelman making the chain moving big plays while Gunnah and Jakobi try to worm their way into the Brady Circle of Trust™. Reminded me of the pre-Moss days. They need a TE though. Badly.
The Pats skill position players for most of the second half: 6th rounder, 4th rounder, 7th rounder, 7th rounder, UDFA, UDFA.
 

Saints Rest

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Mitchell was the first name that popped into my head on his catch inside the 10. There have been plenty of guys who have come through and not figured out the back shoulder connection with Brady. Decent insurance policy if they can't swing a trade or get Edelman/Gordon/Harry/Dorsett healthy at the same time.
That ply actually reminded me of Kembrell Tompkins moment in the sun, against the Saints maybe? Broncos?
 

Super Nomario

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Looking back at the second half drives, from the last drive in the first half through the end of the game, the O was pretty good.
  • 75-yard TD drive that ate basically the last four minutes of the first half
  • 9 1/2 minute drive that ate most of the third quarter and led to a FG attempt (missed)
  • 5 1/2 minute drive into fringe FG range that ended on downs
  • 63-yard TD drive
  • killed the final 2:47
There's not really a bad drive in that last five, especially considering the circumstances (weather and injuries). Two TD drives, two drives that could have / should have been FGs, killed a ton of clock. From the locker room celebration, it was pretty apparent that Belichick was happy with what they got from the O, especially their mental fortitude to bounce back from early struggles and produce despite injuries and tough conditions.
 

BigSoxFan

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Looking back at the second half drives, from the last drive in the first half through the end of the game, the O was pretty good.
  • 75-yard TD drive that ate basically the last four minutes of the first half

  • 9 1/2 minute drive that ate most of the third quarter and led to a FG attempt (missed)

  • 5 1/2 minute drive into fringe FG range that ended on downs

  • 63-yard TD drive

  • killed the final 2:47
There's not really a bad drive in that last five, especially considering the circumstances (weather and injuries). Two TD drives, two drives that could have / should have been FGs, killed a ton of clock. From the locker room celebration, it was pretty apparent that Belichick was happy with what they got from the O, especially their mental fortitude to bounce back from early struggles and produce despite injuries and tough conditions.
If the first half offense looked like the 2nd half offense, this likely would have been a blowout or coast win. The concerns I have are when the team plays a tougher, more complete defense. We've basically had one real test in Buffalo and it didn't go that well. Outside of Edelman, nobody is really winning one on one battles with any level of consistency. Right now, Brady just doesn't have many options to go to. I give Meyers and Gunner credit last night for stepping up and making some key catches but I certainly don't want to be relying on them when the meat of the schedule is here.
 

Pandemonium67

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One pattern we've seen, and which I hope continues, is that it appears the opposing D gets worn down and starts giving up the yards later in the game. The Pats D is forcing a lot of short possessions, so the opposing D doesn't get much rest. They play a lot of plays. And often the Pats are starting with good field position.

The happy result is that close games at the half are blowouts toward the end. Yesterday seemed close into the 4th quarter, but the Pats won by three TDs and chose to kneel rather than score another.
 

BaseballJones

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To the above point...games are 60 minutes long. It’s ok to not be winning by blowout 40 minutes into the game. Still 20 minutes to go which is a long time. Over 60 minutes, few teams will be able to stay with them.
 

RetractableRoof

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One pattern we've seen, and which I hope continues, is that it appears the opposing D gets worn down and starts giving up the yards later in the game. The Pats D is forcing a lot of short possessions, so the opposing D doesn't get much rest. They play a lot of plays. And often the Pats are starting with good field position.

The happy result is that close games at the half are blowouts toward the end. Yesterday seemed close into the 4th quarter, but the Pats won by three TDs and chose to kneel rather than score another.
That's also why the INT for #12 was frustrating to me in that moment - it put the Pats defense right back on the field in the middle of a stretch where I thought they could use a breather.
 

RetractableRoof

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The D had only been on the field for 5 total plays at that point - a three-and-out and an INT on the second play of a drive.
Fair enough, I just remember thinking that after intercepting the ball, they were going to go right back out there without a break. It didn't register they'd had a light load to that point.

Thanks for correcting the way I had remembered it!
 

heavyde050

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Also, wasn't the first drive of the game pretty impressive before failing on multiple attempts to get one yard and turning it over on downs?

I was walking home from work during the first drive, so I couldn't watch on TV, but it looked like the Pats went right down the field and got well into the Red Zone.
 

Saints Rest

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I feel like part of the negative outlook about the O last night was driven by the INT, the fumble return for 6 (that sort of play needs a shorthand term like “Pick-6”), and the two failed 4th downs. Add in Brady’s early inaccuracies and it seemed like a shitty night. In reality, over 400 yards, and over 75% completion.

Considering the weather and the injuries, a pretty good night.
 

normstalls

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I feel like part of the negative outlook about the O last night was driven by the INT, the fumble return for 6 (that sort of play needs a shorthand term like “Pick-6”), and the two failed 4th downs. Add in Brady’s early inaccuracies and it seemed like a shitty night. In reality, over 400 yards, and over 75% completion.

Considering the weather and the injuries, a pretty good night.
I refer to it and have heard others call it a 'scoop and score'
 

BrazilianSoxFan

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I feel like part of the negative outlook about the O last night was driven by the INT, the fumble return for 6 (that sort of play needs a shorthand term like “Pick-6”), and the two failed 4th downs. Add in Brady’s early inaccuracies and it seemed like a shitty night. In reality, over 400 yards, and over 75% completion.

Considering the weather and the injuries, a pretty good night.
It's a F.a.R.T., as in Fumbled And Returned for a Touchdown.
 

InstaFace

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If the first half offense looked like the 2nd half offense, this likely would have been a blowout or coast win. The concerns I have are when the team plays a tougher, more complete defense. We've basically had one real test in Buffalo and it didn't go that well. Outside of Edelman, nobody is really winning one on one battles with any level of consistency. Right now, Brady just doesn't have many options to go to. I give Meyers and Gunner credit last night for stepping up and making some key catches but I certainly don't want to be relying on them when the meat of the schedule is here.
We won by TWENTY-ONE, that's not a blowout to you?! Jeebus christ, what do you want from this team? What fraction of games end in a 20+ point margin, 10%? 5%? Yeah, sure, it was tied at one point late in the first half. Then they played another 35 minutes of shutout ball, during most of which time Daniel Jones looked likelier to curl up into a whimpering ball on the sideline than score another TD.

It's not gonna look like the Miami game every week, even for a team with a lombardi in its future. We had a little bad luck in the Buffalo game that made the score look closer than it should have, but we were never in any sort of serious risk of losing that game. What was the score margin of the Buffalo game, +6? I will happily wager right now on the Pats -6 for when Buffalo comes to town in December. You taking Buffalo?
 

BigSoxFan

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We won by TWENTY-ONE, that's not a blowout to you?! Jeebus christ, what do you want from this team? What fraction of games end in a 20+ point margin, 10%? 5%? Yeah, sure, it was tied at one point late in the first half. Then they played another 35 minutes of shutout ball, during most of which time Daniel Jones looked likelier to curl up into a whimpering ball on the sideline than score another TD.

It's not gonna look like the Miami game every week, even for a team with a lombardi in its future. We had a little bad luck in the Buffalo game that made the score look closer than it should have, but we were never in any sort of serious risk of losing that game. What was the score margin of the Buffalo game, +6? I will happily wager right now on the Pats -6 for when Buffalo comes to town in December. You taking Buffalo?
Ha, chill out dude. What I meant was that it would have been a no-doubter from the first half onward had the offense executed better because they were playing a terrible opponent and the defense was dominating. I’m obviously not complaining about the end result, merely expressing some concern about the current state of the offense when they face better competition. Obviously, there is plenty of time for improvement both in personnel and execution.

There isn’t any need to freak out when people want to critique parts of the team. Belichick is constantly looking for improvement and that’s what I’m doing. It’s possible to be pleased with where the team is while also commenting about areas where they can improve.

Jeebus.
 

InstaFace

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That's all fair. Just trying to spare you for the DOTB "you're all not grateful enough" rant that would have been even worse :D

No but agitated tones aside, I do disagree with you that we ought to be "concerned" about the offense when they face better competition. My default assumption is:

1) They will get Wynn and Harry back
2) They will trade for a WR or TE
3) Those new additions will be effective
4) Scar will have the line showing continual week-to-week improvement, resulting in near-competence by playoff time
5) Brady, Edelman, White and Gordon remain healthy and productive

As long as those assumptions hold, we will be fine, because we've got 3.5 weeks until the first real test (@BAL), and 5.5 weeks until The Gauntlet (@PHI, DAL, @HOU, KC). In a sense, this is a perfect schedule for us, because the hardest games of the season are coming at a time when the Pats traditionally play their best, and after a late bye besides.

The offense was top-4 in points every single year in the Gronk Era, and this year they're 3rd. Even by DVOA, the offense ranks 8th. If you look at the big picture, there are more reasons for optimism than pessimism. So long as those 5 assumptions aren't thrown out, I think that will remain true.
 

BigSoxFan

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That's all fair. Just trying to spare you for the DOTB "you're all not grateful enough" rant that would have been even worse :D

No but agitated tones aside, I do disagree with you that we ought to be "concerned" about the offense when they face better competition. My default assumption is:

1) They will get Wynn and Harry back
2) They will trade for a WR or TE
3) Those new additions will be effective
4) Scar will have the line showing continual week-to-week improvement, resulting in near-competence by playoff time
5) Brady, Edelman, White and Gordon remain healthy and productive

As long as those assumptions hold, we will be fine, because we've got 3.5 weeks until the first real test (@BAL), and 5.5 weeks until The Gauntlet (@PHI, DAL, @HOU, KC). In a sense, this is a perfect schedule for us, because the hardest games of the season are coming at a time when the Pats traditionally play their best, and after a late bye besides.

The offense was top-4 in points every single year in the Gronk Era, and this year they're 3rd. Even by DVOA, the offense ranks 8th. If you look at the big picture, there are more reasons for optimism than pessimism. So long as those 5 assumptions aren't thrown out, I think that will remain true.
Fair enough. At this point, my concern is pretty mild but it’s there, mostly because there are quite a few unknowns right now. Wynn hasn’t been able to stay healthy, Harry may or may not be ready to contribute given his lack of PT, we may not be able to trade for an impact WR, Michel has been blah, our TEs are pretty crappy, not sure if Gordon will be around or if Edelman can last a season given the punishment he takes every week, etc.

Given the state of the D, the Pats are going to be contenders even if the offense doesn’t improve much but it’s reasonable to expect some improvement before the schedule gets really tough. If we get to the playoffs with Wynn and a WR core of Gordon/Edelman/Dorsett/Harry/Trade/Meyers, I’ll be feeling pretty good.
 

lexrageorge

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When judging the Pats offense, the score can be misleading. The first 7 Pats drives ended up as a turnover on downs, punt, interception, punt, punt, TD on a short field, fumble. The offense was better the rest of the game, basically controlling the ball nearly the entire time. But they were playing against a terrible defense for the 2nd week in a row.

I do believe some of these issues are fixable, but it's clear the offense needs improving in a way that is reflected in neither the game score nor the point differential.
 

Jimbodandy

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The OL is the beginning, middle, and end of the Pats offensive issues. Lack of premium receivers and tight ends hasn't stopped Brady before. But if they can't run block and can't pass block, the games against good teams will look like the Buffalo game.

IMO the question is whether Wynn coming back and more time with Dante solves these problems. I'm more optimistic about improvement in the pass blocking than suddenly seeing gaping holes for Michel et al.
 

joe dokes

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The OL is the beginning, middle, and end of the Pats offensive issues. Lack of premium receivers and tight ends hasn't stopped Brady before. But if they can't run block and can't pass block, the games against good teams will look like the Buffalo game.

IMO the question is whether Wynn coming back and more time with Dante solves these problems. I'm more optimistic about improvement in the pass blocking than suddenly seeing gaping holes for Michel et al.
Based on the way he looked before he got hurt, I think Wynn will make a very big difference.
 

Saints Rest

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The OL is the beginning, middle, and end of the Pats offensive issues. Lack of premium receivers and tight ends hasn't stopped Brady before. But if they can't run block and can't pass block, the games against good teams will look like the Buffalo game.

IMO the question is whether Wynn coming back and more time with Dante solves these problems. I'm more optimistic about improvement in the pass blocking than suddenly seeing gaping holes for Michel et al.
I’m not sure I agree with you. The OL could use improvement for sure, especially WRT run blocking, but I think that sacks taken, much like sacks made, are a two-part process, mixing how open the pass-catchers are with how well the line blocks.
It seemed like a couple times on Thursday including the scoop-and-score, when the line held up for a good long time but Brady couldn’t find anyone open.
 

Jimbodandy

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I’m not sure I agree with you. The OL could use improvement for sure, especially WRT run blocking, but I think that sacks taken, much like sacks made, are a two-part process, mixing how open the pass-catchers are with how well the line blocks.
It seemed like a couple times on Thursday including the scoop-and-score, when the line held up for a good long time but Brady couldn’t find anyone open.
Fair point. That happened for sure. I'm not saying that better receivers wouldn't help the offense. But those couple of occasions of Brady with time is offset by him mostly running for his life this year and the Pats having no run game until the fourth quarter.

It's understandable that losing two starters hurt the OL (and partly cannon also).
 

bankshot1

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While recognizing the Pats depleted receiver corp could use another body or two, I'm mostly in the O-line/blocking camp on this issue. The loss of Andrews, Wynn, Devlin, and a blocking TE in Gronk has pretty much f'ed up the O-line in both road grading and pass protection. Opponent D-lines have found it far too easy to penetrate and stuff runs and have put pressure on Brady with 4-man rushes.

With the Pats D being as good as they seemingly are, and having a punter/STwho can change field position, the Pats O just needs to control the ball/clock and put up 23-27 points to win most games, (KC being the exception, but I don't think KC is putting 34+ on this D). IMO hopefully getting back Wynn, (Devlin probably not) and finding either a real center and a blocking TE, (Allen?) and then getting back Harry, will cure a lot of what ails the Pats offense as we approach the tougher part of the schedule and the post-season.
 

RedOctober3829

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I’m not sure I agree with you. The OL could use improvement for sure, especially WRT run blocking, but I think that sacks taken, much like sacks made, are a two-part process, mixing how open the pass-catchers are with how well the line blocks.
It seemed like a couple times on Thursday including the scoop-and-score, when the line held up for a good long time but Brady couldn’t find anyone open.
The improvement needs to come at two spots: left tackle and right guard. Newhouse has been a complete disaster and Mason has had a bad year for his standard. Wynn can not get back here any sooner. For the most part Karras has been serviceable.
 

Jimbodandy

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The improvement needs to come at two spots: left tackle and right guard. Newhouse has been a complete disaster and Mason has had a bad year for his standard. Wynn can not get back here any sooner. For the most part Karras has been serviceable.
Not disputing your Mason assessment at all, but I have been curious about how to assess both him and Thuney. Clearly there has been a ton of internal penetration on both run and pass plays. How easy is it to tell how much of that Karras owns? Both guards have great resumes.
 

RedOctober3829

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Not disputing your Mason assessment at all, but I have been curious about how to assess both him and Thuney. Clearly there has been a ton of internal penetration on both run and pass plays. How easy is it to tell how much of that Karras owns? Both guards have great resumes.
Mason was getting blown off the ball in the first couple games and has been missing more assignments than he did the past couple years. I think not having Andrews there to communicate the calls has hurt a bit, but the physical mistakes that Mason has made are more frequent. Thuney has been really, really good. He's been their best lineman to date.
 

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We won by TWENTY-ONE, that's not a blowout to you?! Jeebus christ, what do you want from this team? What fraction of games end in a 20+ point margin, 10%? 5%? Yeah, sure, it was tied at one point late in the first half. Then they played another 35 minutes of shutout ball, during most of which time Daniel Jones looked likelier to curl up into a whimpering ball on the sideline than score another TD.

It's not gonna look like the Miami game every week, even for a team with a lombardi in its future. We had a little bad luck in the Buffalo game that made the score look closer than it should have, but we were never in any sort of serious risk of losing that game. What was the score margin of the Buffalo game, +6? I will happily wager right now on the Pats -6 for when Buffalo comes to town in December. You taking Buffalo?
A memory stirs...



But yeah, I agree entirely.
 

tims4wins

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While recognizing the Pats depleted receiver corp could use another body or two, I'm mostly in the O-line/blocking camp on this issue. The loss of Andrews, Wynn, Devlin, and a blocking TE in Gronk has pretty much f'ed up the O-line in both road grading and pass protection. Opponent D-lines have found it far too easy to penetrate and stuff runs and have put pressure on Brady with 4-man rushes.

With the Pats D being as good as they seemingly are, and having a punter/STwho can change field position, the Pats O just needs to control the ball/clock and put up 23-27 points to win most games, (KC being the exception, but I don't think KC is putting 34+ on this D). IMO hopefully getting back Wynn, (Devlin probably not) and finding either a real center and a blocking TE, (Allen?) and then getting back Harry, will cure a lot of what ails the Pats offense as we approach the tougher part of the schedule and the post-season.
23-27? This team beats 80% of the teams in the league if they put up like 17 points. They just have to actively not fuck up. Of the 48 points against, 21 are on the offense and punt return. Otherwise opponents are at 27 points in 6 games. 4.5 PPG.
 

bankshot1

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23-27? This team beats 80% of the teams in the league if they put up like 17 points. They just have to actively not fuck up. Of the 48 points against, 21 are on the offense and punt return. Otherwise opponents are at 27 points in 6 games. 4.5 PPG.
I know the stats. I'm thinking more of the small handful of teams that have real offenses, the Chiefs, Cowboys, Eagles,Saints, Rams, that potentilly could give the Pats a hard time, and put up points, not the Div 3 teams they've played so far. My point was if they fix the O-line, they fix a lot of the problem.
 

RetractableRoof

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OK, so I have a question for everyone that is talking about Wynn's return like it is a given/automatic.

Wynn's original injury was a torn Achilles. One of the attributes of an Achilles injury is reduced flexibility of the foot after the fact. When your foot can't flex properly (your heel doesn't stay down), you transfer weight to the front of the foot while driving (power is applied to the big toe). There's your turf toe. So it would seem that the turf toe is a down stream event of the Achillies injury (and he's an OL, there is obviously a lot of weight on the achillies/toe to exacerbate any issues). Assuming all of this is accurate, why should we expect Wynn back from the IR *this* year, and even if he does come off the IR, why should we be confident that he can stay healthy through the end of the year?
 

Eddie Jurak

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OK, so I have a question for everyone that is talking about Wynn's return like it is a given/automatic.

Wynn's original injury was a torn Achilles. One of the attributes of an Achilles injury is reduced flexibility of the foot after the fact. When your foot can't flex properly (your heel doesn't stay down), you transfer weight to the front of the foot while driving (power is applied to the big toe). There's your turf toe. So it would seem that the turf toe is a down stream event of the Achillies injury (and he's an OL, there is obviously a lot of weight on the achillies/toe to exacerbate any issues). Assuming all of this is accurate, why should we expect Wynn back from the IR *this* year, and even if he does come off the IR, why should we be confident that he can stay healthy through the end of the year?
Well, I don't think anyone should be certain. And I would say that what you outline here may ba a reasonable worst case scenario. But, on the flip side, maybe the second injury wasn't actually that bad and the reason he went to IR at all was because of the possible link with the Achilles injury. I think "comes back as soon as he i allowed" is a reasonable best case scenario.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Bedard has an interesting column on the Pats' offense woes. He calls out the following issues:

1. Center: Karras, according to Bederd, has generally been OK in pass protection but is killing the running game with his lack of athleticism, and has been getting worse week by week. He's also worse than Andrews at checks and calls, limiting Brady's pre-snap options.

2. FB: He notes that the emergence of Johnson coincided with improvement in the running game, as the Pats could use a FB to substitute for the immoble Karras. He somewhat seriously siggests giving Elandon Roberts a look if they don't bring someone in, given his reduced defensive responsibilities.

3. Blocking TE: Less a criticism of Izzo and more a reflection of the fact that if Izzo is the only TE/FB on the roster, as he ended up being on Thursday, it is a huge problem

4. RG: Mason is having his worst year. Berard speculates that he may be hurt and suggests that if a couple of weeks of rest would help him regain form, they should do it.

Conversely, he gives Newhouse and Michel a passs.
 

Saints Rest

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Not exactly a pass on Newhouse, but rather an expectation that Wynn will return to take over LT and this he’s not worthy of wasting trade capital on.

He has decided in his own mind that Michel is a “get what’s he’s given, no more, no less” kind of RB, which isn’t a great fit for the current state of Patriots blocking (no just OLine but also TEs and FBs), so Harris could be worth a look.