Pats offense: Ongoing discussion

Saints Rest

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He has been ok - had a bad holding penalty against LAC. He was good against the Jets. If Brown comes back and they keep Onwenu at RT I could see them playing Brown at LT. Wynn has also come in and out of games - it is unclear if he got hurt mid-game vs the Chargers or they gave him a breather. I don’t think the option will impact who they start at LT the remainder of this year if Brown is actually healthy and ready to play. I’m not saying it’s a slam dunk but I also wouldn’t be surprised if Wynn continues to be up and down if Brown replaces him to finish the season. Just something to keep an eye on.
For whatever reason(s), this season has seen a number of Patriot players, on both sides of the ball, start the season with a level of play well below what most of us, including pundits, and I would dare say, Patriot management, expected: Jonnu, Guy, Godchaux, Van Noy, Hightower, and Wynn.

Most of those, with the glaring exception of Wynn and DHT, seemed to have turned their seasons around and returned to levels much closer to what he had hoped/expected.

I have no idea why so many started so poorly, and I have no idea how most of them turned it around while Wynn has not. (I think DHT is simply done.)
 

tims4wins

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I can't believe I am writing this, but I am actually happy that Brandon Bolden is on the team. It felt like a running joke for 3-4 years when he was on the roster year after year. He already has a career high in catches, and is 70% of the way toward his career high in yards from scrimmage. In particular Pats QBs are 22-24 (91.7%) for 189 yards (7.9 YPA) and a TD (113.4 passer rating) when targeting Bolden. The offense would be lost without him.
 

bunchabums

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I can't believe I am writing this, but I am actually happy that Brandon Bolden is on the team. It felt like a running joke for 3-4 years when he was on the roster year after year. He already has a career high in catches, and is 70% of the way toward his career high in yards from scrimmage. In particular Pats QBs are 22-24 (91.7%) for 189 yards (7.9 YPA) and a TD (113.4 passer rating) when targeting Bolden. The offense would be lost without him.
For years there was no surer sign that a game was lost as when Bolden (or Slater) were getting touches or targets. That Bolden wheel route was a killer and yet, this year, it has proven to be a savior.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Does anyone think the beginning of the season was easing Mac into the offense or were they just unnecessarily holding him back? I’m on the side that if you didn’t think he could go 100% and lead this offense from the get go than he shouldn’t have started. Curious how others feel.
 

tims4wins

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Does anyone think the beginning of the season was easing Mac into the offense or were they just unnecessarily holding him back? I’m on the side that if you didn’t think he could go 100% and lead this offense from the get go than he shouldn’t have started. Curious how others feel.
But maybe they’re not where they are today if he didn’t start from day 1. I don’t think this is a legit argument. If Harris doesn’t fumble in week 1 is this even a thing?
 

Captaincoop

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Does anyone think the beginning of the season was easing Mac into the offense or were they just unnecessarily holding him back? I’m on the side that if you didn’t think he could go 100% and lead this offense from the get go than he shouldn’t have started. Curious how others feel.
I'll go with (C), it's basically an entirely new team and needed time to develop some chemistry.
 

lexrageorge

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Does anyone think the beginning of the season was easing Mac into the offense or were they just unnecessarily holding him back? I’m on the side that if you didn’t think he could go 100% and lead this offense from the get go than he shouldn’t have started. Curious how others feel.
He needed the on the job training. There were also a lot of new faces on offense, and the OL was terrible early on. I think the team handled his development about as well as could be expected.

There were also no better alternatives.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Does anyone think the beginning of the season was easing Mac into the offense or were they just unnecessarily holding him back? I’m on the side that if you didn’t think he could go 100% and lead this offense from the get go than he shouldn’t have started. Curious how others feel.
I think that from day 1, he was the best option available, so he started.

I don't think there was any deliberate "holding him back" but at they have been putting more and more o his plate week by week because that was always the plan.

On top of that, defensies have been adjusting to Mac and Mac and the Pats offense have had to adjust in response.

And he is a rookie playing on a team with a lot of new faces also leabring the system. So far that has been working out better in some cases (Henry, Bourne) than others (Jonnu, Agholor).

I think that what we can start to infer from his first 10 games is that he is capable of learning from experience.
 

Cotillion

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The oline was so atrocious early on that he was fending for his life. No coincidence he’s hitting a lot more deep consistently as the oline has started to round into some decent form.
 

SMU_Sox

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I'll go with (C), it's basically an entirely new team and needed time to develop some chemistry.
Agreed - Mac has improved as the season has continued on his deep ball, not playing too fast, and checking into better plays. But the entire team needed time. Agholor, Bourne, Henry, Jonnu Smith, Rhamondre (to a lesser degree) are new. With the OL you had some shuffling and adapting to life without Thuney and with Brown suddenly out at RT.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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I'll go with (C), it's basically an entirely new team and needed time to develop some chemistry.
Isn’t that what the off-season/pre-season is for?

I guess I’m still a little frustrated with how conservative/safe things were in the beginning. Might have made a difference, might not. Guess it doesn’t matter much now.
 

Saints Rest

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I wasn't following the game thread today early, but what is the consensus for why Brown bumped Onwenu and not Wynn as a one--for-one, or in a more complicated manner, bumping Karras with Wynn or Onwenu moving to LG?

And in a related question, I only thought to watch what Brown was up to a couple times, but he certainly seemed to have a pretty strong game from my limited analysis. Has anyone else done a deeper dive on him?
 

SMU_Sox

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I think they want to keep Wynn at LT and Brown at RT as they did during the opener. The only question to me is if they bump Karras back to the bench when Brown has his stamina back to go for a full game. Their philosophy being keeping guys in place as much as possible.
 

8slim

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Isn’t that what the off-season/pre-season is for?

I guess I’m still a little frustrated with how conservative/safe things were in the beginning. Might have made a difference, might not. Guess it doesn’t matter much now.
These guys barely play real football in the preseason these days. I suspect a huge reason why Mac has been so serviceable is precisely because they put guardrails on him early on. Just look around the league, throwing rookie QBs into the deep end of the pool is a recipe for turnovers and bad decisions.
 

IdiotKicker

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That play is also a great example of matching the blocking scheme to your route concepts. You know you need the airspace above the RT and can’t afford to float the pass. You don’t want a chance of the DL jumping up. So you have the RT cut to make the defender leave his feet but not in a way that allows him to get his hands up since he has to use them to try to (in this case unsuccessfully) avoid the cut.
 

BaseballJones

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Now let's show the attempted cut block by Wynn on the left side that nearly got Mac Jones killed by Myles Garrett. And we can then compare and contrast the two.
 

lexrageorge

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Isn’t that what the off-season/pre-season is for?

I guess I’m still a little frustrated with how conservative/safe things were in the beginning. Might have made a difference, might not. Guess it doesn’t matter much now.
I think you have a totally unrealistic situation of how much a rookie QB can learn in the preseason. And how long it takes to integrate new players into what is widely recognized around the league to be one of the more complex offenses.

The 2014 Patriots offense was very meh the first 4 games of 2014. New acquisition Brandon LaFell had 0 catches his first 2 games, and Amendola had 4 catches for 33 yards his first 6 games.
 

ZMart100

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Now let's show the attempted cut block by Wynn on the left side that nearly got Mac Jones killed by Myles Garrett. And we can then compare and contrast the two.
Wynn did enough there to get Garrett's hands down. Jones needs to get the ball out on the third step, the sack was on him.
 

BaseballJones

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Pats' O and D broken down...

Offense
- First four games: 17.8 points, 311.8 yards, 1.8 turnovers
- Last six games: 40.8 points*, 392.6 yards, 1.0 turnovers

*Two defensive touchdowns, so without those, it's 38.0 points a game.

Defense
- First six games: 21.2 points*, 359.2 yards, 1.3 turnovers
- Last four games: 12.5 points, 281.3 yards, 2.3 turnovers

*One defensive touchdown, so without that, it's 20.0 points a game.

In the last two weeks, the Pats have played two elite defenses. Carolina has the 2nd ranked defense. Cleveland has the 5th ranked defense. And the Pats did pretty good work against both of them.

It's coming together, folks. It really is.
 

Silverdude2167

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Its a simple stat, but the Pats are at a plus 98 in points differential. Just one team in the NFL is better (Bills).
And they both have one key thing in common...playing the Jets and Dolphins.

It is a good smell test stat and why some people have some questions about the Ravens, but the AFCE is really helping for both the Bills and Pats there. Games vs those teams = 53% of the Bills and 60% of the Pats point differental.
 

Bowhemian

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And they both have one key thing in common...playing the Jets and Dolphins.

It is a good smell test stat and why some people have some questions about the Ravens, but the AFCE is really helping for both the Bills and Pats there. Games vs those teams = 53% of the Bills and 60% of the Pats point differental.
While that is true, I have 2 points:
1. The Pats lost to the Dolphins, so that didn't exactly work out for the Pats points differential
2. Yesterday's +38 was not against an AFCE team.
 

j44thor

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And they both have one key thing in common...playing the Jets and Dolphins.

It is a good smell test stat and why some people have some questions about the Ravens, but the AFCE is really helping for both the Bills and Pats there. Games vs those teams = 53% of the Bills and 60% of the Pats point differental.
Pats lost to MIA so that isn't really helping. Pats last 3 opponents are all .500 and their point differential in just those 3 games is +59 which by itself would be good for 5th in the NFL. Outside of the NYJ and MIA they have only played one other team below .500 in HOU.
 

Saints Rest

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Pats' O and D broken down...

Offense
- First four games: 17.8 points, 311.8 yards, 1.8 turnovers
- Last six games: 40.8 points*, 392.6 yards, 1.0 turnovers

*Two defensive touchdowns, so without those, it's 38.0 points a game.

Defense
- First six games: 21.2 points*, 359.2 yards, 1.3 turnovers
- Last four games: 12.5 points, 281.3 yards, 2.3 turnovers

*One defensive touchdown, so without that, it's 20.0 points a game.

In the last two weeks, the Pats have played two elite defenses. Carolina has the 2nd ranked defense. Cleveland has the 5th ranked defense. And the Pats did pretty good work against both of them.

It's coming together, folks. It really is.
I really appreciate you putting together these simple and telling stats.
It’s more complicated to consider but my sense is that the changes (on both sides) in turnovers is really driving much of the rest.The Pats lost at least one turnover in the dark red zone (ie Harris fumble inside the 5) during the first part of the season, and took away the ball at least one in the end zone (JCJ INT). Those are almost certain points lost. And other turnovers cause lost yardage.
 

BaseballJones

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The Pats went to LA to play the 4-2 Chargers and won 27-24, a score that was only that close due to a total garbage time TD by LA.

The Pats went to Carolina to play the 4-4 Panthers and their (at the time) #1 ranked defense and won 24-6.

The Pats came home to play the 5-4 Browns (fresh off a beatdown of rival Cincy) and their top rushing attack and elite run defense and beat them 45-7.

That's not murderer's row of opponents, but it's not tomato cans either. Good, solid teams, and the Pats manhandled each of them rather easily, two of them on the road. Next up is 4-5 Atlanta, who probably isn't as good as any of these three previous opponents, but who are 3-2 in their last 5. Another good road test.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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I think you have a totally unrealistic situation of how much a rookie QB can learn in the preseason. And how long it takes to integrate new players into what is widely recognized around the league to be one of the more complex offenses.

The 2014 Patriots offense was very meh the first 4 games of 2014. New acquisition Brandon LaFell had 0 catches his first 2 games, and Amendola had 4 catches for 33 yards his first 6 games.
I didn’t expect them to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders. I was expecting a little less trepidation though in the beginning. Seems silly to reflect on what ifs now that they’re playing the way some of us expected them to. VERY excited for the future of this team.
 

SamK

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Isn’t that what the off-season/pre-season is for?

I guess I’m still a little frustrated with how conservative/safe things were in the beginning. Might have made a difference, might not. Guess it doesn’t matter much now.
Maybe that's what preseason used to be. Covid limits, fewer preseason games than historical, head injury rule limits on practice-- this team's philosophy of keep improving every game through the last quarter of the last game of the season has become much more observable to fans like us.
But, we have arrived at the same conclusion. "doesn't matter much now".
Cool.
 

Super Nomario

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I think you have a totally unrealistic situation of how much a rookie QB can learn in the preseason. And how long it takes to integrate new players into what is widely recognized around the league to be one of the more complex offenses.

The 2014 Patriots offense was very meh the first 4 games of 2014. New acquisition Brandon LaFell had 0 catches his first 2 games, and Amendola had 4 catches for 33 yards his first 6 games.
Amendola finished the year with only 200 yards so I'm not sure he's the best example ... but that 2014 team definitely had some issues to work out offensively (particularly what to do at G after trading Mankins).

Some of the comments in this thread seem to me an overreaction to yesterday's game. The offense was FANTASTIC yesterday, as it was against the Jets in Week 7. It's been below-average (but not terrible) in basically every other game this year, including the last two weeks against Carolina and the Chargers. Does the presence of two near-perfect games in the last four weeks mean it's turning a corner and we should expect a higher level of performance over the last seven games? I dunno, I'm not sure we're going to know for a while. (The good thing is the defense has been pretty consistently excellent, good enough to carry mediocre offense)
 

RedOctober3829

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I’m of the belief that Karras should stay at LG. Him, DA, and Mason have played great football since TK got put in there. I wouldn’t break that up. As much as I love Onwenu, Brown when healthy is a better option at RT. The depth now on the OL is really nice to have. Onwenu and Brown can share duties until TB is back to full game shape. I also think it’s a possibility that with the short week that TB sits in order to preserve his health for Tennessee and Buffalo and Onwenu plays.

I am also of the belief that if the OL stays healthy that the run game can get even better with more continuity of the starting 5(6 if you include Onwenu/Brown combo).
 

joe dokes

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Isn’t that what the off-season/pre-season is for?

I guess I’m still a little frustrated with how conservative/safe things were in the beginning. Might have made a difference, might not. Guess it doesn’t matter much now.
Youre assuming that week 2's Jones would have been able to handle "more" offense than week 10's Jones. I dont think that's a valid assumption. But it *is* water under the bridge.
 

DJnVa

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This game against Cleveland ranks second to the Patriots’ Week 7 victory against the Jets for offensive expected points added (EPA) by New England — not just this season, but since 2015 Week 4, a span of 115 regular-season and playoff games, according to TruMedia. That is remarkable for a team that has played so much excellent offensive football over the years. The 115-game stretch includes Tom Brady’s 2017 MVP season. For the Browns, this was their second-worst defensive EPA game since the 2016 season. Only their 47-42 defeat to the Chargers in Week 5 was worse by that measure.
The truth about Odell Beckham Jr., Mac Jones, Matt Rhule, Cam Newton and more: Mike Sando’s Pick Six – The Athletic
 

pokey_reese

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The good news is, we only have to wait three weeks to find out exactly how good this team is. The Falcons may not tell us much, since they are a real Jekyll-and-Hyde team, but then we get the Titans and Bills, at which point we will know precisely how we stack up against the class of the AFC and the likely opponents we would need to get through to make the Super Bowl. Obviously, we don't see the Chiefs or Ravens in this stretch, but we will have plenty of common-opponent information for them, and this season at least, neither of those teams seems as scary as they have in the recent past.
 

DourDoerr

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This is from CBS Sports - and noted that it's not all coming from the offense, but this seemed the appropriate thread:

"The Patriots scored 45 points against the Browns, meaning they've now scored 45 or more points in consecutive homes for the FIRST time in franchise history. Considering Tom Brady played there for 20 years, it's hard to believe that the Patriots had never done this before."
 

Over Guapo Grande

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This is from CBS Sports - and noted that it's not all coming from the offense, but this seemed the appropriate thread:

"The Patriots scored 45 points against the Browns, meaning they've now scored 45 or more points in consecutive homes for the FIRST time in franchise history. Considering Tom Brady played there for 20 years, it's hard to believe that the Patriots had never done this before."
Coincidence that it was the Jets and Browns?
 

DourDoerr

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Point taken, but I'd guess they've played consecutive home games in the past against teams just as bad or worse.
 

DourDoerr

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I didn't mean the level of competition, mea culpa. I meant more the organizations that BB would be comfortable scoring on end against.
I should have picked up on that - especially since I wondered for a moment yesterday why BB was still pedal to the metal and did remember his Browns' days. When/if there's been the opportunity before, has he piled on the Browns before? It's a brand new franchise in every way but the name since BB's reign. But you're right - that'd be a heck of coincidence.
 

DJnVa

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This is from CBS Sports - and noted that it's not all coming from the offense, but this seemed the appropriate thread:

"The Patriots scored 45 points against the Browns, meaning they've now scored 45 or more points in consecutive homes for the FIRST time in franchise history. Considering Tom Brady played there for 20 years, it's hard to believe that the Patriots had never done this before."
They did, however, score 48+ in 3 straight games in 2007---first 2 on the road at Dallas and Miami, then home against Washington. Then, after only scoring 24 in the next game, dropped 56 at Buffalo.
 

Saints Rest

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I’m of the belief that Karras should stay at LG. Him, DA, and Mason have played great football since TK got put in there. I wouldn’t break that up. As much as I love Onwenu, Brown when healthy is a better option at RT. The depth now on the OL is really nice to have. Onwenu and Brown can share duties until TB is back to full game shape. I also think it’s a possibility that with the short week that TB sits in order to preserve his health for Tennessee and Buffalo and Onwenu plays.

I am also of the belief that if the OL stays healthy that the run game can get even better with more continuity of the starting 5(6 if you include Onwenu/Brown combo).
At game-time, I was a bit surprised that Onwenu sat and not either Wynn or Karras. But in hindsight, I wonder if sitting Onwenu was the simplest play as a hedge in case Brown immediately pulled up lame. But going forward, will that need to hedge against a Brown injury mean that they change things to get Onwenu in somewhere (either back at LG replacing Karras) or back at RT with Brown moving to LT?
 

RedOctober3829

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At game-time, I was a bit surprised that Onwenu sat and not either Wynn or Karras. But in hindsight, I wonder if sitting Onwenu was the simplest play as a hedge in case Brown immediately pulled up lame. But going forward, will that need to hedge against a Brown injury mean that they change things to get Onwenu in somewhere (either back at LG replacing Karras) or back at RT with Brown moving to LT?
McDaniels said today they knew Trent wouldn’t play the whole game so he started and Onwenu just came in for him. He said Onwenu is going to be part of every game FWIW.