Pats offense: Ongoing discussion

SMU_Sox

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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.
Mac checked into some of those runs. Oh I agree with you that their red zone play-calling has been atrocious but it might be a mixture of who is at fault for it. In particular Mac hinted that he checked into that 3rd and 1 run to RT by Bolden. :(
 

Cellar-Door

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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.
That Jonnu call was the perfect play...... for first down. Get the ball to him in space, let him get you to the 5-8 yard mark, if they actually block maybe he gets inside the 5, either way now it's 2nd and 4-6 and the run is an option. On 3rd it had zero chance of success unless he beat 3 guys all by himself because the goal is now 11 yards not just picking up some yardage.
 
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Mac needs to work on his intermediate to deep passing touch if this offense is going to be at least and average unit. He doesn't have Devonta Smith or Jalen Waddle to catch up to the passes he overthrows by a couple of yards.
 

8slim

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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.
Perhaps you didn't mean this literally, but what's frustrating is that we're turning "B ingredients" into an F meal. The whole seems far less than the sum of the parts through 3 games. Maybe it's just as simple as the fact that the O can't function until the OL improves dramatically?
 

BaseballJones

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Perhaps you didn't mean this literally, but what's frustrating is that we're turning "B ingredients" into an F meal. The whole seems far less than the sum of the parts through 3 games. Maybe it's just as simple as the fact that the O can't function until the OL improves dramatically?
Well that's how it is for everyone. When the Pats' OL struggled, even Tom Brady had a hard time being successful.

I mean...look at the two Giants' Super Bowls for example. It all starts up front and so far, the Pats' OL has been very bad.
 

SMU_Sox

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I agree with Slim. It’s both. It’s hard to make a bunch of Bs into an A offense but right now it is definitely a D or an F.
 

8slim

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Well that's how it is for everyone. When the Pats' OL struggled, even Tom Brady had a hard time being successful.

I mean...look at the two Giants' Super Bowls for example. It all starts up front and so far, the Pats' OL has been very bad.
I do agree. Nothing has been more disappointing than the OL. I had every expectation that they'd be solidly above average, and instead they've been putrid.
 

Captaincoop

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Sounds like Trent Brown will be back Sunday. Hopefully he stabilizes the right side, and maybe Andrews plays better with that taken care of.

Really curious to see what they do at RB this week. White is out, and everyone else is in the doghouse. Someone has to play. I assume Taylor takes on most of the White 3rd down role.

Would you put Stevenson back in the mix for some carries? Do they think Harris can be trusted in a situation that may call for blitz pickup?

I get that they trust Bolden to block, but man, you give up a lot by having him on the field.
 

Cellar-Door

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Sounds like Trent Brown will be back Sunday. Hopefully he stabilizes the right side, and maybe Andrews plays better with that taken care of.

Really curious to see what they do at RB this week. White is out, and everyone else is in the doghouse. Someone has to play. I assume Taylor takes on most of the White 3rd down role.

Would you put Stevenson back in the mix for some carries? Do they think Harris can be trusted in a situation that may call for blitz pickup?

I get that they trust Bolden to block, but man, you give up a lot by having him on the field.
Wonder if they go with some 2 back looks.
 

rodderick

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I'd expect them to throw the ball all game considering that's what everyone who faced Tampa has done thus far and their defense can't stop it. Running the ball on that front is wasting downs.
 

GB5

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I certainly dont think it makes much of a difference to the offense, but just curious if there is any work on N'Keal. He is eligible to play starting this week. Its a longshot but Mac did seem to have good chemistry with him in camp.
 

j44thor

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Wonder if they go with some 2 back looks.
2 Back seems to play into the strength of the defense, I'd much rather see them go with zero backs and force TB to show their hand coverage wise and let Mac get the ball out quick.
 

cshea

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I certainly dont think it makes much of a difference to the offense, but just curious if there is any work on N'Keal. He is eligible to play starting this week. Its a longshot but Mac did seem to have good chemistry with him in camp.
I believe Bill said on Monday that they were nearing a decision on Harry. Guess we'll find out today if he practices. Participating in practice doesn't necessarily mean he'll play on Sunday though, it just starts the clock on when he needs to be activated. I can't remember how many weeks they get on that.
 

Cellar-Door

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2 Back seems to play into the strength of the defense, I'd much rather see them go with zero backs and force TB to show their hand coverage wise and let Mac get the ball out quick.
Yeah, probably this week. I was more wondering longer term, if they don't trust Harris/Taylor/Stevenson in pass pro, do they go 2 back rather than Bolden who has no juice. (or 2 back with Bolden and another HB).

THis week I think they probably want to spread them out some, empty backfield some.
 

Eddie Jurak

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What a stat, no WR in NFL history has had more than 52 catches without a TD... except Jakobi who has twice that
During his rookie year, the Patriots threw 25 TD passes (Brady 24, Edelman 1), 16 of them to WRs. But Meyers was a rookie working up from the bottom of the depth chart who only caught 26 passes all year. WRs who caught fewer than 26 passess but did catch at least one touchdown: N'Keal Harry, Josh Gordon, Antonio Brown. Elandon Roberts also caught a TD pass.

During his second year, Meyers led the team in catches, but the Pats had only 12 TD passes. Meyers threw 2 of those (to Burkhead and to Newton). Of the remaining 10, only 4 went to WRs (Harry 2, Byrd 1, Olszewski 1). Two of those 4 were thrown by Jarrett Stidham (Harry, Olszewski) were thrown by Stidham.

This year through 3 games Mac has only 2 TD passes, but both are to WRs (Bourne, Agholor). Meyers is again the leading receiver so far, without a TD catch.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Is it time to give Taylor more RB snaps? He seems to have more big play potential than the others, even on running plays.
 

Captaincoop

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I was always on the Jakob Johnson patience train, he showed some nice lead blocking potential at one point...but it is hard to argue he needs to be on the roster now. He's been brutal and is taking up an active spot. We could go back to the linebacker at FB plan and save that spot for another offensive player who might actually produce yards.
 

Garshaparra

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Really curious to see what they do at RB this week. White is out, and everyone else is in the doghouse. Someone has to play. I assume Taylor takes on most of the White 3rd down role.

Would you put Stevenson back in the mix for some carries? Do they think Harris can be trusted in a situation that may call for blitz pickup?

I get that they trust Bolden to block, but man, you give up a lot by having him on the field.
I think Stevenson has to be back active, if only because White is done, and Harris's injury history is significant. I still absolutely agree with the trade of Sony, but power running requires a back rotation, and Bolden simply doesn't have the skills to deliver with the ball in his hand.
 

BaseballJones

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No doubt that Stevenson needs to be active. He's had several weeks now to improve his pass protection. And yes, Taylor should get more touches.
 

lexrageorge

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No doubt that Stevenson needs to be active. He's had several weeks now to improve his pass protection. And yes, Taylor should get more touches.
I would hope so. But for that to happen, Stevenson would have needed to show something in practice these last couple of weeks to demonstrate that he will not simply get turnstyled on a blitz pickup. We have no way to know if he did, but we do know that Belichick and staff put a lot of value in players showing stuff in practice, and White's injury is not going to change Bill's approach there.
 

CCR

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I would hope so. But for that to happen, Stevenson would have needed to show something in practice these last couple of weeks to demonstrate that he will not simply get turnstyled on a blitz pickup. We have no way to know if he did, but we do know that Belichick and staff put a lot of value in players showing stuff in practice, and White's injury is not going to change Bill's approach there.
Fears talked about him this week. Guessing the improvements he's talking about include blocking and blitz pickup.

https://www.patspulpit.com/2021/9/29/22699021/ivan-fears-offers-progress-report-on-new-england-patriots-rookie-rusher-rhamondre-stevenson

“Most definitely,” Fears told reporters of the 23-year-old Stevenson during his video conference on Tuesday. “Most definitely. You know, you only can carry so many guys to the game and he has made big improvements on the stuff that we asked him to make improvements on and we’re happy with him. So, we’re kind of excited to see if he can pick up a new role here.”

“Maybe he can pick up some of the stuff that James was doing,” added Fears. “We’ll throw it at him this week and see what sticks in practice, see what he can handle.”
 

Cellar-Door

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Unless they add someone there is almost no doubt that Stevenson will be active, not sure how much work he gets, but he'll take the White roster spot.
 

EddieYost

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Forgetting for a second that Jonnu has sucked hard so far...

Maybe it makes sense to go without a running back sometimes and shift him into the backfield to pass protect when needed?
 

Cellar-Door

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Can he do that? I think it's a different skillset from being on the line, how much H-Back did he play with the Titans?
Not a ton, but some. Had 6 carries over 2 years, plus some passes. He lined up there in college some too, but only 1 carry.
 

Big McCorkle

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Can he do that? I think it's a different skillset from being on the line, how much H-Back did he play with the Titans?
"I've only ever played tight end."

"It's not that hard, Jonnu. Tell him, Ivan."

But more seriously, Devin White is so sucky in coverage that it might make sense to roll with 02 just to try to ensure that Smith or Henry get the opportunity to toast him while Lavonte David gets the other guy, if you don't think Taylor or Stevenson (or Harris) can credibly threaten him in the passing game.
 

SMU_Sox

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I know this is speculation by me but I think Stevenson has some traits you’d want to work with as a receiver. He is really good at subtle breaks. He has soft hands. He turns upfield quickly. He is great in space. Have fun trying to tackle him in open space as a corner. He lined up out wide and had a catch in the pre-season. Ran routes pretty well including gearing down swiftly on a hitch when they ran Hoss.

Taylor has some slot traits - shifty, breaks fast, good in space. Fears said he improved a lot as a receiver in camp and during the pre-season.

Bolden is a fine backup. He made 3/4 catches for 23 yards. I’m not sure I’d put his run stuffs on him vs the play call and blocking.

We will see Stevenson’s and JJT’s development through the rest of the year as pass catchers hopefully. Receiving RB will be a need going into next year whether through FA, the draft, or both (I think both makes sense given White’s health and contract status).
 

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I know many have shat all over Rham since he shat all over himself trying to pick up Elandon Roberts on a blitz, but IIRC, didn't one of our resident experts coming out of the draft laud Stephenson as a high-end blocker? Maybe that was meant on running plays, not blitz pickup, or maybe it simply shows the difference between CFB and NFL.
 

Cellar-Door

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I know many have shat all over Rham since he shat all over himself trying to pick up Elandon Roberts on a blitz, but IIRC, didn't one of our resident experts coming out of the draft laud Stephenson as a high-end blocker? Maybe that was meant on running plays, not blitz pickup, or maybe it simply shows the difference between CFB and NFL.
I think it was SMU. One thing though, just like all things, the NFL is harder when it comes to identifying and executing blocks. I think of Marlon Mack, who had a rep as a really good college pass blocker (PFF which is flawed, but often has value graded him as one of the best backs in college in pass pro too). He graded out as a bad blocker every year in the NFL, he just never took that step with the better athletes, quicker decisions, more confusing schemes, etc. Rham is a rookie, I'd expect him to be behind the curve all year on pass pro.
 

Jimbodandy

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I know many have shat all over Rham since he shat all over himself trying to pick up Elandon Roberts on a blitz, but IIRC, didn't one of our resident experts coming out of the draft laud Stephenson as a high-end blocker? Maybe that was meant on running plays, not blitz pickup, or maybe it simply shows the difference between CFB and NFL.
Yeah I'm not judging the guy based on one bad decision. Had that been James White in blitz protect, he would have gone low on Roberts. Rham thinking "fuck that, I'm two hundred thirty pounds of pain" and trying to take on ERob straight-up was a bad call, but not a kiss of death. Despite some of the posts here and his subsequent inactivity, I don't think that we should be writing his blocking off based on one play.
 

SMU_Sox

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E-Rob is one of the more physical players in the league. That was Stevenson's welcome to the NFL moment. He will learn from it.

Herron stood out in a bad way on the rewatch. CGJ on a safety blitz wrist grabbed/fork-lifted him and tossed him to the ground. RT play right now is awful. He also kept lunging when he run-blocked. Got over his skis a ton and didn't hit his landing spots. He is just putrid as a blocker. Made me even angrier about that 3rd down and 1 run. I want to talk about a few plays. The end of the 21-6 drive that resulted in a FG stalled out in the red zone. The Pats line is responsible for the shit results before the drive stalled. When they ran twice in the red zone and lost 2 yards the blocking was just inexcusably bad. They couldn't physically displace either DT on duo. That's incredible to me. You can't win either 2:1? Since they couldn't win either block no OL could even think about going to the next level and taking on both LBs who forced the run outside. Outside Jonnu was 1:1 with Cam Jordan. You can guess how that went. It wasn't even on Bolden - he had nowhere to go. You could argue he should have just taken the 0-1 yard gain on the bang instead of losing yards on the bounce but when it is 2nd and 10 or 11 in the red zone I get why you take that risk because a stuff doesn't do much anyway. It put them then in 3rd and 12 and they only had 3 guys running into the end zone. It was a weird combo though. They saw cover two and ran a double post from the left side + a crosser coming to the middle right along the goal line from the right side. Jonnu was a checkdown. Post snap the Saints dropped into Tampa 2 and the LB was right in the way of both the post and the crosser so Mac checks it down and the play gains a handful of yards. It was a good play call by the defense. It's a play where if you have a scrambling QB or someone who works well off-script you would have had a better chance than trying to execute a play that is perfectly defended. Because of the LB he would have had to wait a lot longer to throw anyway. I don't get why you would call two runs in a row when 1) your OL can't run block, 2) Bolden is your back, and 3) the short passing game was working (I know it is a condensed field).
 

Jimbodandy

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Fwiw, I'm hoping that McD spent a lot of time on red zone this week. 1-2 wrinkles down there would make a lot of difference.
 

SMU_Sox

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They can’t score enough points. 16, 25, 13, 17. They can’t get 35+ yard plays. They turn the ball over too much. The OL is under siege. Their run game is completely shot too. That’s somewhat shocking.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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They can’t score enough points. 16, 25, 13, 17. They can’t get 35+ yard plays. They turn the ball over too much. The OL is under siege. Their run game is completely shot too. That’s somewhat shocking.
My thought is that each and every one of those things is a problem, and the name of that problem is "the offensive line."
 
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They can’t score enough points. 16, 25, 13, 17. They can’t get 35+ yard plays. They turn the ball over too much. The OL is under siege. Their run game is completely shot too. That’s somewhat shocking.
Are they going to keep Rhamondre inactive every week? They desperately need a spark in the running game.
 

rodderick

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Is the offensive line as bad as we think it is or are we just conditioned to great OL play because of the Brady years? From the metrics that try to judge OL play they seem to rank about middle of the pack. I obviously agree they are really underperforming based on preseason expectations, but I don't know if fans of other teams are watching the Patriots and thinking to themselves "jesus, their OL is trash".
 

jsinger121

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I think the OL is bad. Andrews is the only really good lineman they have. Wynn sucks. Mason doesn’t look the same anymore. Michael Owenu looks to haven taken a step back and Trent Brown has been hurt and the other RT are turnstiles. Wynn is by far the biggest problem. He flat out sucks and the blindside is kinda important to protecting Mac Jones.
 

BaseballJones

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I understand the offensive line issues but a RB with juice can at least create positive yardage. They aren't winning any games with 2 total yards.
This was obviously an absurdly low rushing output last night. And yet...they were six inches from winning.

Looking at the rushing stats again...holy smokes:

Harris: 4 att, -4 yds
Bolden: 1 att, 0 yds
Taylor: 1 att, 0 yds
Agholor: 1 att, 4 yds
Jones: 1 att, -1 yds

8 rush attempts, -1 total rush yds

That has to be close to some sort of NFL record.
 

rodderick

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This was obviously an absurdly low rushing output last night. And yet...they were six inches from winning.

Looking at the rushing stats again...holy smokes:

Harris: 4 att, -4 yds
Bolden: 1 att, 0 yds
Taylor: 1 att, 0 yds
Agholor: 1 att, 4 yds
Jones: 1 att, -1 yds

8 rush attempts, -1 total rush yds

That has to be close to some sort of NFL record.
I've thought for a while that the Bucs having a dominant run defense will be their downfall because teams have just figured they don't even need to bother and are throwing the ball on 80% of downs against a bad secondary. If they had ok run defense teams would run on them more and they likely would give up less yards and points. I'm of the opinion that NFL teams should be throwing on 70+% of snaps anyway, so the Bucs run defense is basically giving their opponents free positive EPA/Play just by being awesome.
 

lexrageorge

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Is the offensive line as bad as we think it is or are we just conditioned to great OL play because of the Brady years? From the metrics that try to judge OL play they seem to rank about middle of the pack. I obviously agree they are really underperforming based on preseason expectations, but I don't know if fans of other teams are watching the Patriots and thinking to themselves "jesus, their OL is trash".
If the metrics call last night's OL play middle of the pack, then it's time to get a new set of metrics.

It doesn't help that the Pats have no true play making threat at WR/TE. None of the skill players are guys that you have to game plan for, especially now that James White is gone.
 

Van Everyman

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People need to slow the “we don’t have anybody to game plan for” roll a bit. No there isn’t a Gronk or Edelman in this group but there are plenty of guys who can make plays there.

Also, the OL still isn’t playing well and they absolutely need to get better. But they’ve played better since the second drive of the second half against the Saints. Some of that is that the Pats have spread it out which has given Mac more options. But they’ve also given him a bit more time. Mac was moving around a bunch last night and took a bunch of hits but he wasn’t running for his life the way we was a week ago even tho the Bucs were bringing pressure on most downs.
 

bunchabums

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What happened to the the 2 TE monster sets -- smash them in the mouth running game that can easily morph to an air attack. I understand the Bucs have a terrific run defense but have we seen that alignment all year?