Pats Offense: Ongoing discussion

E5 Yaz

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Two questions:

Would one solution to try to get back on track go back to running a two-man backfield more often with a fullback? At least to open holes in the running game and give Mac more protection?

Also, why do they give up on the run game some quickly? Yeah, the turnover-TDs made it catch-up mode, but it sure seems like if they get nothing going on the ground in the first two series, they abandoned it completely. A big part of the O-Line's reputation comes from the the run game. Going pass-first exposes the tackles.
 

SMU_Sox

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Two questions:

Would one solution to try to get back on track go back to running a two-man backfield more often with a fullback? At least to open holes in the running game and give Mac more protection?

Also, why do they give up on the run game some quickly? Yeah, the turnover-TDs made it catch-up mode, but it sure seems like if they get nothing going on the ground in the first two series, they abandoned it completely. A big part of the O-Line's reputation comes from the the run game. Going pass-first exposes the tackles.
I like the idea of mixing in 21 as an alternative to 12. At least with Jakob Johnson you know he can block. 21 as an alternate to 12 on some drives especially on early downs. If they want to run it on first down wouldn't 21 be more effective than 12 right now? I think so.

I think the reason the abandoned it was because NO has a great defensive front and they were getting their asses kicked in the trenches. Not entirely sure on it but that is my best guess.
 

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They ran a ton of crossers today against man coverage... the underneath ones were covered well by their LBs and the separation wasn't great for the guys running down the fields - they also anticipated the crossers and made plays to break on the ball. I knew it would be a hard day for the offense but I keep going back to offenses usually need 2-3 good skill players to consistently win. Who is that for the Pats in the receiving game? 12 looks a lot different with Gronk/Sweat-leaf/Welker than Jonnu/Henry/Meyers(? Agholor?). They just don't have dynamic skill guys and the guys they brought in have been woefully underproductive. I think with the OL it's at least a fixable problem but the pass catchers collectively all need to step up minus maybe Meyers. It's a lot to fix and it isn't guaranteed these guys are the answer. If not that makes life even more difficult in 2022 when the cap situation makes it hard to add anyone.
 

Cellar-Door

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Yeah, outside of reverting primarily to 11 personnel and stopping to operate with 12 as often as they have been until/unless the tight ends can get their shit together (or maybe just tight end, Smith, since I don't think Henry has been all that bad), I'm not sure what there is to do from a strategic standpoint. Of course, going heavily to 11 would not be a small change, but everything else is pretty much execution.
Smith has been bad at catching, Henry has been the worse blocker. I think you just ride with it, Jonnu will get it together in terms of catching, even good players sometimes have drop issues, especially when going to a new QB. I'm more worried about whether Henry can block than I am Jonnu's receiving talent long term.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Part of me is wondering what they do from here. They like to run 12 but Henry and Smith haven’t blocked well. You can’t run 12 if the TEs don’t block well. They asked them to take on DTs in all 3 games and it’s gone how you think it has - not well. Jonnu was known as a decent blocker but Henry is not. But worse yet they haven’t been a major impact in the passing game either! Hard to run 12 when the TEs perform like afterthoughts.
Can Asiasi block? Maybe if they are going to stick with 12 they need to give him a look. I know they spent a lot of money on Smoith and Henry, but neither of those gys is known for durability. Asiasi may not be good or ready but at least he has more time in the system.
They ran a ton of crossers today against man coverage... the underneath ones were covered well by their LBs and the separation wasn't great for the guys running down the fields - they also anticipated the crossers and made plays to break on the ball. I knew it would be a hard day for the offense but I keep going back to offenses usually need 2-3 good skill players to consistently win. Who is that for the Pats in the receiving game? 12 looks a lot different with Gronk/Sweat-leaf/Welker than Jonnu/Henry/Meyers(? Agholor?). They just don't have dynamic skill guys and the guys they brought in have been woefully underproductive. I think with the OL it's at least a fixable problem but the pass catchers collectively all need to step up minus maybe Meyers. It's a lot to fix and it isn't guaranteed these guys are the answer. If not that makes life even more difficult in 2022 when the cap situation makes it hard to add anyone.
I thought Meyers and Bourne did some nice things today, but, no, that doesn't really address your point.
 

Super Nomario

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Two questions:

Would one solution to try to get back on track go back to running a two-man backfield more often with a fullback? At least to open holes in the running game and give Mac more protection?
I think it's fine as a change of pace (which is how they've been using it), but it's really limited as an everydown personnel group in the passing game. I have to admit, I did not have "Pats fans will clamor for the 2020 offense" on my bingo card.

Also, why do they give up on the run game some quickly? Yeah, the turnover-TDs made it catch-up mode, but it sure seems like if they get nothing going on the ground in the first two series, they abandoned it completely. A big part of the O-Line's reputation comes from the the run game. Going pass-first exposes the tackles.
Harris, Bolden, and Taylor combined for 15 yards on 10 carries for zero first downs. There's only so many times you can beat your head against the wall.
 

Gash Prex

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Pats were in 11 personal for the last drive of the 1st half and mostly in the 2nd - the 2 TE offense isn’t working right now. They need to adjust and run 11 personal
 

Cellar-Door

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Honestly I think (outside the Brandon Bolden Red Zone experience) that the playcalling wasn't terrible. There was a lot of poor execution in this game from basically everyone on offense. The line struggled with stunts and blitzes (particularly early) and opening holes. The backs got nothing going, and didn't bring much in the pass game, Mac misread some pressure, made some bad decisions and bad throws, the TEs were a disaster (Henry couldn't block or get open, Jonnu couldn't catch anything when he was open). If there is one thing I would have liked to see it would have been for Taylor to take a lot of those Bolden snaps. I get it, he's 5'6" which limits his ability to block, but it felt like he had the most juice as a runner and was the only real passcatching threat when Mac needed an outlet, Bolden could catch, but he didn't scare anyone, they knew he wasn't doing anything once he had it.

Edit- Jonnu catches some of those crossers, or Mac makes better throws on a couple deep passes, maybe we're thinking about the offense completely differently.
 

Cellar-Door

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Couldn't you say that about all three games so far? He continues to underwhelm and a pattern is forming, hopefully just growing pains.
Yeah, you could. I think this was his worst game, and it pointed out again some of the things I worried about with him coming out... He can't really escape and he doesn't have a strong arm, so how will he handle pressure and a messy pocket. The line hasn't been good, but some of it is that Mac needs GOOD protection at all times, because he can't roll away from it, and he can't just rifle the ball without a step.

In Mac's best games he's reminded me of rookie Cody Kessler. Minimize mistakes, take what you're given etc. Cody Kessler was pretty good as a rookie. The problem was he couldn't go from "pretty good for a rookie" to "good for an NFL QB". I think Mac's physical tools are better than Kessler's, but yeah, where someone like Lawrence needs to develop the mental side, and figure out what throws you can and can't try in the NFL (his pick 6 today was a throw that was INSANE to even try), Mac needs to grow physically and perfect his mechanics, and that's honestly harder. Brady did it.... a lot of guys didn't.
This was the first game where Mac really faced a lot of consistent pressure. Through the first two games there were some memorable plays where he got pressure, but overall PFF had him 26th most pressure faced. He faced more today, and he didn't handle it well, his best stretch came when NO didn't get pressure in the 2nd half. The most disappointing play to me was where they drew up the right play, Agholor got great separation deep, and Mac just had a terrible throw where he seemed to be bailing out when there wasn't any real pressure, missed him by a ton. That's the exact play he needs to show he can make in the NFL for me to start thinking... "yeah this guy is gonna grow into a good starter", when you have a wide open guy and moderate to low pressure, you gotta get the ball where he can make a play on it.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Yeah, you could. I think this was his worst game, and it pointed out again some of the things I worried about with him coming out... He can't really escape and he doesn't have a strong arm, so how will he handle pressure and a messy pocket. The line hasn't been good, but some of it is that Mac needs GOOD protection at all times, because he can't roll away from it, and he can't just rifle the ball without a step.

In Mac's best games he's reminded me of rookie Cody Kessler. Minimize mistakes, take what you're given etc. Cody Kessler was pretty good as a rookie. The problem was he couldn't go from "pretty good for a rookie" to "good for an NFL QB". I think Mac's physical tools are better than Kessler's, but yeah, where someone like Lawrence needs to develop the mental side, and figure out what throws you can and can't try in the NFL (his pick 6 today was a throw that was INSANE to even try), Mac needs to grow physically and perfect his mechanics, and that's honestly harder. Brady did it.... a lot of guys didn't.
This was the first game where Mac really faced a lot of consistent pressure. Through the first two games there were some memorable plays where he got pressure, but overall PFF had him 26th most pressure faced. He faced more today, and he didn't handle it well, his best stretch came when NO didn't get pressure in the 2nd half. The most disappointing play to me was where they drew up the right play, Agholor got great separation deep, and Mac just had a terrible throw where he seemed to be bailing out when there wasn't any real pressure, missed him by a ton. That's the exact play he needs to show he can make in the NFL for me to start thinking... "yeah this guy is gonna grow into a good starter", when you have a wide open guy and moderate to low pressure, you gotta get the ball where he can make a play on it.
This level of doom and gloom seems over the top for a guy who has more or less held his own in his first 3 NFL games despite not getting a whole lot of help from his team. Heck even Brady struggled in his later NE years when the offensive tools weren't great and teams were able to get consistent pressure. Mac doesn't even have an Edelman type as a security blanket - his closest thing to that is Meyers who is not at that level. He's not being protected well by his line, his running game isn't consistent, his receivers aren't great, his defense isn't picking him up in key spots.

The quality of competion has been going up in recent weeks, teams have NFL film on Mac now, and the Pats offense (QB aside) is playing poorly. This season, for Mac and the offense generally, is going to be a project. That much has become clear after 3 weeks. After week 1 it was possible to see something better than that.
 
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This level of doom and gloom seems over the top for a guy who has more or less held his own in his first 3 NFL games despite not getting a whole lot of help from his team. Heck even Brady struggled in his later NE years when the offensive tools weren't great and teams were able to get consistent pressure. Mac doesn't even have an Edelman type as a security blanket - his closest thing to that is Meyers who is not at that level. He's not being protected well by his line, his running game isn't consistent, his receivers aren't great, his defense isn't picking him up in key spots.

The quality of competion has been going up in recent weeks, teams have NFL film on Mac now, and the Pats offense (QB aside) is playing poorly. This season, for Mac and the offense generally, is going to be a project. That much has become clear after 3 weeks. After week 1 it was possible to see something better than that.
I agree, you can't ask Mac to make 50 attempts and win the game from behind. Losing White really sucks and I'm worried they won't be able to neutralize the blitz without an effective screen pass. Bottom line is their defense has to play close to perfect and Harris needs 100 rushing yards for the Patriots to win on any given week unless they play the Jets.
 

joe dokes

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So is the O-line performance a trickle-down from losing Brown (which is a whole different issue if thats it) or are they still going to be in trouble even if he's back at full strength?
 

Cellar-Door

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This level of doom and gloom seems over the top for a guy who has more or less held his own in his first 3 NFL games despite not getting a whole lot of help from his team. Heck even Brady struggled in his later NE years when the offensive tools weren't great and teams were able to get consistent pressure. Mac doesn't even have an Edelman type as a security blanket - his closest thing to that is Meyers who is not at that level. He's not being protected well by his line, his running game isn't consistent, his receivers aren't great, his defense isn't picking him up in key spots.

The quality of competion has been going up in recent weeks, teams have NFL film on Mac now, and the Pats offense (QB aside) is playing poorly. This season, for Mac and the offense generally, is going to be a project. That much has become clear after 3 weeks. After week 1 it was possible to see something better than that.
I don't think it's doom and gloom. I think he's been fine, my point was more that he also hasn't really shown anything that indicates a good starter down the road. He could have been worse now and have shown more for the future. The thing with rookie QBs, is they fall into 4 categories: 1. the Herbert type freaks who come out really good and are already good NFL QBs, 2. The guys who struggle mixing wow plays with wow mistakes, 3. Guys who make a ton of mistakes with few wow plays 4. Guys who make few if any wow plays but few mistakes.
Group 3 are usually mega-busts, group 2 splits between guys who reduce mistakes and keep the wow plays to become really good (Josh Allen comes to mind), group 4 split between guys who become solid to good and guys who become backups. Mac looks like a group 4 guy. I think in today's NFL though, more long term good QBs come from group 2 than group 4, the era of being a real contender with a game manager seems to be ending (unless that game manager is on a rookie deal and you just do a 2 year window stack, but even then you usually lose in the AFC/NFC Championship or Super Bowl to a team with a playmaking QB).

I see a lot of over the top defense of Mac coupled with an assertion that he'll get much better and he's clearly a guy you can build around.... I don't think either of those is necessarily something you can count on. He has shown that if he improves he can be a mistake minimizer, but that doesn't really make you a building block in the modern NFL, you have to consistently add value to be worth paying a starting QB contract once the rookie deal is over.

Also... this supporting cast isn't that bad, it's better than last year's by a good margin. Mac has been fine for a rookie, but also bad for an NFL QB, and he's one of the reasons the supporting cast looks bad. Yes, this team lacks explosive talent at WR, but at the same time, it's far from the worst group in the league, and almost 100% healthy. The line isn't the top 5-7 unit people expected, but it hasn't been one of the bottom 8-10 in the league either, and the defense is well above average. This is what most NFL teams look like, and honestly this is what everyone should have known this offense would be.... it's a lot better than last year's in terms of talent, but Mac isn't really adding any more value than Cam did.
 
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Gash Prex

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Through 3 games, Mac Jones has been an average NFL starter with a QBR rating of 52.3 - better than notables like Baker, Goff, Burrow, Ryan, Roethlisberger (and of course all the other rookies). His game yesterday ranked at 50.3 (which was almost double the Jets game).

The Pats offense since Week 11 of the 2019 season has been 27th in the NFL in points. I feel like this board has collective memory loss how bad the 2019 second half offense was for NE with Tom. Tom had passing yards games of 216, 190, 169, 128, 209 and 221 in games to finish that season. Its been bad for a while and clearly has little to do with QB play.

And I disagree with the point above that mastering the mental part of the NFL is easier than the physical - the vast majority of drafted QBs never do anything because they cannot master the NFL game from a mental level, despite having NFL level physical skills.
 

WheresDewey

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The question about Mac is all about his ceiling. It looks like his floor is between above average (but no better) starter and above average back up. It's hard to judge his ceiling with the way his Oline and receivers are playing.
 

Cellar-Door

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Through 3 games, Mac Jones has been an average NFL starter with a QBR rating of 52.3 - better than notables like Baker, Goff, Burrow, Ryan, Roethlisberger (and of course all the other rookies). His game yesterday ranked at 50.3 (which was almost double the Jets game).

The Pats offense since Week 11 of the 2019 season has been 27th in the NFL in points. I feel like this board has collective memory loss how bad the 2019 second half offense was for NE with Tom. Tom had passing yards games of 216, 190, 169, 128, 209 and 221 in games to finish that season. Its been bad for a while and clearly has little to do with QB play.

And I disagree with the point above that mastering the mental part of the NFL is easier than the physical - the vast majority of drafted QBs never do anything because they cannot master the NFL game from a mental level, despite having NFL level physical skills.
All that tells you is that QBR is a garbage stat.

As to physical mental, the question isn't whether mental it's easy, it's that most guys don't make big physical jumps. Brady is one of the very. very few exceptions. for the most part, guys with fringe arms stay fringe arms (or land on a shoulder poorly and become not NFL arms).

Lots of guys with physical tools fail to get the mental tools, but many do. Very very few guys who lack the physical tools significantly improve them. The question is... does Mac have the tools to be a top NFL QB, or does he have tools that limit him to bottom of the league starter/bench.
 

Cellar-Door

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This is silly. Cam was taking away value last year. Mac has looked like a competent NFL starter.
He's putting up 4.63 ANY/A (Cam put up 5.44), his other stats compare not particularly favorably to Cam's last season (INT%, TD%, CMP %) he has not been much if any better than Cam in terms of results. It just looks prettier. Now, the expectations SHOULD be lower because he's a rookie, but if you thought Cam was taking away value, then Mac is too because he's putting up similar passing stats, and he doesn't have Cam's rushing.

The hope is... Cam played his best out of the gate then trailed hard, hopefully Mac will do the opposite (which is a reasonable expectation for a rookie) and he'll end up providing more value.
 

BaseballJones

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With Mac Jones at QB, a rookie with three whole games under his belt...

The Pats have averaged 317 yards of offense and 18 points per game. They're one Damian Harris fumble away from averaging 20.3 points a game and being 2-1, and 2-0 in the division.

Of COURSE there are going to be growing pains. There are going to be days when Mac looks really good and days when he looks like an overwhelmed rookie. We all knew this going in. But they're one fumble (from a normally reliable back, btw) away from having a winning record.

These are growing pains, but they're not terrible ones.
 

Captaincoop

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He's putting up 4.63 ANY/A (Cam put up 5.44), his other stats compare not particularly favorably to Cam's last season (INT%, TD%, CMP %) he has not been much if any better than Cam in terms of results. It just looks prettier. Now, the expectations SHOULD be lower because he's a rookie, but if you thought Cam was taking away value, then Mac is too because he's putting up similar passing stats, and he doesn't have Cam's rushing.

The hope is... Cam played his best out of the gate then trailed hard, hopefully Mac will do the opposite (which is a reasonable expectation for a rookie) and he'll end up providing more value.
We're three games into the season, you can't punch numbers into the computer and determine who has been better. One of those interceptions (out of 3 total) was a completion that Jonnu Smith decided to hand to the defensive back. Over the course of a season, those things are what they are. When you're three games in, you have to watch the games. It's not even close who has provided better play at QB so far.
 

Cellar-Door

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We're three games into the season, you can't punch numbers into the computer and determine who has been better. One of those interceptions (out of 3 total) was a completion that Jonnu Smith decided to hand to the defensive back. Over the course of a season, those things are what they are. When you're three games in, you have to watch the games. It's not even close who has provided better play at QB so far.
I don't know that I agree. Cam had some really good games early.
I THINK Mac will end up and upgrade, but so far he hasn't been particularly good. Even his "GOOD" games were more a case of not screwing up anything and letting Nick Folk make some FGs. Cam was a lot higher variance, and he wasn't a real option moving forward because his shoulder is junk and his footwork still sucks. But we are not getting good QB play so far. It's not the biggest concern, but it is something people should factor in when looking at the offense as a whole.

One thing... we're throwing more. Mac already has almost 1/3 of Cam's total ATT from last year.

I think Mac is a better QB than Cam was last year (though rushing makes a difference with bad QBs) my point was more... if you are grading this offense and not taking into account that the QB play has been quite bad by NFL standards, you aren't going to get an accurate view of the offense.
 

rodderick

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We're three games into the season, you can't punch numbers into the computer and determine who has been better. One of those interceptions (out of 3 total) was a completion that Jonnu Smith decided to hand to the defensive back. Over the course of a season, those things are what they are. When you're three games in, you have to watch the games. It's not even close who has provided better play at QB so far.
I actually think Cam was better than this three games in, but Mac has played better than what Cam gave the team over the course of the entire season.
 

Cellar-Door

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I actually think Cam was better than this three games in, but Mac has played better than what Cam gave the team over the course of the entire season.
Oh there is no doubt of that. Cam was legitimately GOOD for 3 games before the wheels came off, but that wasn't a good reflection of his overall talent.
 

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Yeah, outside of reverting primarily to 11 personnel and stopping to operate with 12 as often as they have been until/unless the tight ends can get their shit together (or maybe just tight end, Smith, since I don't think Henry has been all that bad), I'm not sure what there is to do from a strategic standpoint. Of course, going heavily to 11 would not be a small change, but everything else is pretty much execution.
I wonder if we might see more 21, with Jakob getting more run, perhaps in front of Rham-Tough (will he be released from BB's doghouse?).
 

rodderick

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I'm talking three games of Mac versus what we saw from Cam all year. There is zero question who has been better, IMO.
What Mac did versus the Dolphins is miles ahead of what this team got from Cam last year, what Mac did in the last two games is squarely in that ballpark. Which is why I always wanted them to start Mac: when he's bad he's basically Cam, so why play Cam?
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think he's been fine, my point was more that he also hasn't really shown anything that indicates a good starter down the road. He could have been worse now and have shown more for the future. The thing with rookie QBs, is they fall into 4 categories: 1. the Herbert type freaks who come out really good and are already good NFL QBs, 2. The guys who struggle mixing wow plays with wow mistakes, 3. Guys who make a ton of mistakes with few wow plays 4. Guys who make few if any wow plays but few mistakes.
I think this is all an oversimplification. He's 3 games into his career and taking over an offense whose featured skill players are mostly new to the team. I don't think 3 games is enough of a sample to start talking about career potential for any QB, much less a rookie. Some guys kind of do establish what they are in 3 starts (Pat Mahomes, Jamarcus Russell) but I don't think all of them do.
 

lexrageorge

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Also... this supporting cast isn't that bad, it's better than last year's by a good margin. Mac has been fine for a rookie, but also bad for an NFL QB, and he's one of the reasons the supporting cast looks bad. Yes, this team lacks explosive talent at WR, but at the same time, it's far from the worst group in the league, and almost 100% healthy. The line isn't the top 5-7 unit people expected, but it hasn't been one of the bottom 8-10 in the league either, and the defense is well above average. This is what most NFL teams look like, and honestly this is what everyone should have known this offense would be.... it's a lot better than last year's in terms of talent, but Mac isn't really adding any more value than Cam did.
So far, I'm not at all convinced the bolded is correct. The OL was badly manhandled all game; the Pats could neither run nor protect the QB. It's probably one of the worst OL performances this team has had in a long time. And the tight ends have not at all lived up to their billing, or even their training camp performances.
 

Eddie Jurak

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So far, I'm not at all convinced the bolded is correct. The OL was badly manhandled all game; the Pats could neither run nor protect the QB. It's probably one of the worst OL performances this team has had in a long time. And the tight ends have not at all lived up to their billing, or even their training camp performances.
At best they are "still figuring things out." That goes for Mac and the supporting cast. It seems clear that they want to run a lot of passing plays where Mac drops back and gets the ball out quickly (an offensive style that he seems able to execute) and equally clear tat it isn't working, either because receivers aren't getting open or because the pressure comes in too quickly..
 

Cellar-Door

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I think this is all an oversimplification. He's 3 games into his career and taking over an offense whose featured skill players are mostly new to the team. I don't think 3 games is enough of a sample to start talking about career potential for any QB, much less a rookie. Some guys kind of do establish what they are in 3 starts (Pat Mahomes, Jamarcus Russell) but I don't think all of them do.
Not all of them do, that is true. I'm more noting it as something to keep an eye on, so far 3 games in he's confirmed a lot of priors, but that also goes the potential negatives. I think you can put rookies into one of the 4 buckets pretty early (in particular 1 and 4 I think are the easiest to get guys into), what bucket you are in doesn't mean you'll succeed or fail, but it does give an idea what you need to improve. Mac's path to being a good NFL QB is going to be based on his ability to punish the blitz and get better at putting the ball in tight windows and hitting open guys deep, rather than say Lawrence, whose path to being a good NFL QB is going to be identifying when not to throw the ball, and when to take what the defense gives you.
 

rodderick

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No, he hasn't. He's toeing the line between ok to bad.
Through three games I think he's been good, meh and bad, which is to be expected from a rookie, but maybe some people just upgraded their expectations too much after the Dolphins game and thought that to be the baseline of what Mac can give the team. His play is probably going to fluctuate a lot this year.
 

cshea

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The lack of a running game isn't helping. Take out the 35 yarder to start the Dolphins game and the 26 yard Harris TD run against the Jets and the Patriots are averaging 3.1 yards per carry.
 

Traut

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The problems for the last 3 seasons have come in the red zone. This is their TD % rank the past 3 seasons:

2019: 26th
2020: 24th
2021: 32nd

Some of it is the tools they have to work with but really this is something McDaniels has to change. It's silly to write but they have to find a way to score TDs in the red zone. Nick Folk's FG streak is a product of this.

Unless your defense is 2000 Ravens or 2016 Broncos good - trading FGs for TDs is a recipe to finish 9-8 or 8-9 or 7-10 assuming other parts of the team are competitive.

Source: https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/red-zone-scoring-pct?date=2021-02-08
 
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BaseballJones

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The problems for the last 3 seasons have come in the red zone. This is their TD % rank the past 3 seasons:

2019: 26th
2020: 24th
2021: 32nd

Some of it is the tools they have to work with but really this is something McDaniels has to change. It's silly to write but they have to find a way to score TDs in the red zone. Nick Folk's FG streak is a product of this.

Source: https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/red-zone-scoring-pct?date=2021-02-08
Well when you pass effectively to get into the red zone and then call two consecutive running plays to Brandon Bolden, that's one thing that needs to change as soon as humanly possible. That should simply never really happen.
 

NickEsasky

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Whether it was McDaniels or Mac, not giving the ball to Bolden would be a good start.
 

SMU_Sox

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If Bolden is the only RB in the roster you trust in pass protection with White unavailable then it's a major screw up.
He's the only other guy of: Harris, JJT, and Bolden who can run WR routes. They wanted a pass catching RB who could work in pass pro and run routes. Bolden is their only option. If they were ahead in the game Harris would have stayed.
 

Captaincoop

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Well when you pass effectively to get into the red zone and then call two consecutive running plays to Brandon Bolden, that's one thing that needs to change as soon as humanly possible. That should simply never really happen.
The 3rd and 1 handoff to Bolden was apparently an audible by Mac (bad job, rookie).

The back-to-back runs later in the game...that just feels indefensible. Or, if you look at it another way, really, really defensible.
 

rodderick

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He's the only other guy of: Harris, JJT, and Bolden who can run WR routes. They wanted a pass catching RB who could work in pass pro and run routes. Bolden is their only option. If they were ahead in the game Harris would have stayed.
With how integral that position is to the offense, I still think it's a bad move, especially with how friendly a pass catching back is to a rookie QB. If the reports that Sony had progressed in that role are true, it might have been worth keeping him just for that.
 

catomatic

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Dion Lewis (1400 yards receiving) turns 31 today. I always liked his game. Yes, he’s probably too old and out of game-shape, but I can dream, can’t I?
 

BaseballJones

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If White is out for a while then Stevenson must come out of the doghouse and Taylor has to step into the White role.
 

SMU_Sox

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Sony can catch stuff out of the backfield but he wasn’t a guy they moved outside or in the slot. Even a better receiving Sony wasn’t getting those reps. He was getting flats and screens and stuff like that. Before last season he struggled with check downs. I think his improvement was just that he could handle your typical RB checkdown routes. If I missed something there let me know - I certainly could have.
 

Gash Prex

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Looking at the bright side, Mac has had the "least bad throws" in the NFL through 3 games of 4, for a 3.4%

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2021/advanced.htm

He's also had only 1.3 seconds in the pocket which is bottom 4 - but I think that stat isn't the full picture because some of timing could be because of short passes/quick decisions. The pressures and hits are middle of the pack based on %.
 

SMU_Sox

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There is a discussion going on right now on Scho's slack that I think is worthwhile transcribing to here. The ideas below come from a lot of different folks:

1) 12. So the issues right now with 12 are that Jonnu and Henry are not producing with both blocking and passing. The idea was that they would be better in NE than in LA/SD and TEN. If you were going to run the offense through them you'd need them to outperform their career averages. They aren't though. 12 worked when you had all pro blocking and receiving Gronk and Hernandez who was a true joker. I think Smith will settle down and perform better and can replicate Hernandez but Henry is nowhere near as good a receiver as peak Gronk and they are galaxies apart as blockers. Gronk could take on DL and block them. Henry can't do that. You need a traditional inline guy to make 12 work (unless you run primarily outside zone and specifically ask your TEs to take on LBs or help the OT with an edge and then get to the 2nd level). Right now they do not have that. Like Idiot Kicker was saying - these guys are above average but they aren't top 5 guys. It is also possible that because Jonnu and Henry missed time in camp that they are playing slow and still getting integrated into the offense.

2) Lack of creativity. Whether it is tempo, motion, play-action, misdirection, etc, the Pats are calling an extremely vanilla offense and not using those tools. Again it is possible they are running such a vanilla offense because they had turnover at QB, WR, TE and then Agholor, Smith, and Henry missed a ton of camp while Mac is still a rookie so his capacity to run complex schemes isn't there yet. This might be a situation where Josh is limited in what he can do. We know Josh can be creative. But Josh was creative when he had Brady and usually 2-3 guys who were elite at their position. Who is elite as a pass catcher here? James White out of the backfield? That's about it. The pass catchers are nothing special. It is hard to take a bunch of B ingredients and cook up an A meal. Even harder when you have all those other factors (turnover, rookie QB) complicating what you can and can't do yet.

3) Hard to do much when the OL is garbage. This in theory should get better. For a passing concept to work you need protection and right now that's an issue.

4) Run 02 now that White is gone. Smith can do some RB stuff. They did that in 2011.

5) Separation and route anticipation - WRs aren't getting separation now consistently enough and DBs are recognizing their routes, patterns, concepts, and are playing those concepts so well it is leading to a ton of breakups.
 

Cellar-Door

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Looking at the bright side, Mac has had the "least bad throws" in the NFL through 3 games of 4, for a 3.4%

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2021/advanced.htm

He's also had only 1.3 seconds in the pocket which is bottom 4 - but I think that stat isn't the full picture because some of timing could be because of short passes/quick decisions. The pressures and hits are middle of the pack based on %.
Yeah was walking through that in the Jets' thread, but PKT time is kinda a useless stat for measuring pressure, because it's so dependent on QB. TB has a great line, they are bottom 5 in PKT because Brady gets it out. Other than PIT, none of the bottom 5 teams have that bad a line... KC and SF being the other 2, they mostly have QBs who get the ball away quick and offenses that have lots of quick throws.

Edit- looking at the Pats, I'd say the line is giving up a decent number of quick pressures, but also Mac is making a lot of quick short throws too.
 

RedOctober3829

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There is a discussion going on right now on Scho's slack that I think is worthwhile transcribing to here. The ideas below come from a lot of different folks:

1) 12. So the issues right now with 12 are that Jonnu and Henry are not producing with both blocking and passing. The idea was that they would be better in NE than in LA/SD and TEN. If you were going to run the offense through them you'd need them to outperform their career averages. They aren't though. 12 worked when you had all pro blocking and receiving Gronk and Hernandez who was a true joker. I think Smith will settle down and perform better and can replicate Hernandez but Henry is nowhere near as good a receiver as peak Gronk and they are galaxies apart as blockers. Gronk could take on DL and block them. Henry can't do that. You need a traditional inline guy to make 12 work (unless you run primarily outside zone and specifically ask your TEs to take on LBs or help the OT with an edge and then get to the 2nd level). Right now they do not have that. Like Idiot Kicker was saying - these guys are above average but they aren't top 5 guys. It is also possible that because Jonnu and Henry missed time in camp that they are playing slow and still getting integrated into the offense.

2) Lack of creativity. Whether it is tempo, motion, play-action, misdirection, etc, the Pats are calling an extremely vanilla offense and not using those tools. Again it is possible they are running such a vanilla offense because they had turnover at QB, WR, TE and then Agholor, Smith, and Henry missed a ton of camp while Mac is still a rookie so his capacity to run complex schemes isn't there yet. This might be a situation where Josh is limited in what he can do. We know Josh can be creative. But Josh was creative when he had Brady and usually 2-3 guys who were elite at their position. Who is elite as a pass catcher here? James White out of the backfield? That's about it. The pass catchers are nothing special. It is hard to take a bunch of B ingredients and cook up an A meal. Even harder when you have all those other factors (turnover, rookie QB) complicating what you can and can't do yet.

3) Hard to do much when the OL is garbage. This in theory should get better. For a passing concept to work you need protection and right now that's an issue.

4) Run 02 now that White is gone. Smith can do some RB stuff. They did that in 2011.

5) Separation and route anticipation - WRs aren't getting separation now consistently enough and DBs are recognizing their routes, patterns, concepts, and are playing those concepts so well it is leading to a ton of breakups.
They don't really need to get that creative with their play calling. The OL needs to protect Mac better and actually, you know, call passing plays in and around the red zone that utilize the skill sets of the personnel they have and maybe, just maybe, run routes into the fucking end zone. I am so pissed at McDaniel's play calling down close to the end zone. They went down the field easily out of the gun and then in the red zone he calls 2 plays for Brandon Bolden who was passed his prime about 8 years ago as an RB. If you're going to run it, at least put Damien Harris in the game. Then the 3rd down swing pass to Jonnu Smith 2 yards down the field was shameful. They have 2 talented TE's at their disposal plus Agholor/Bourne who can get open in tight areas, but they haven't even given themselves a chance to take advantage of their skill sets down in scoring areas. It's so vanilla down there. Run, run, pass.