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What’s wrong with Patriots’ passing game and how to fix it

By Henry McKenna
FOX Sports AFC East Writer

The New England Patriots opened the season with a drive that looked — at least at first — staggeringly efficient. 

It might not be an exaggeration to say that Mac Jones and Matt Patricia dazzled on that opening drive. The first seven plays went for positive yardage, and while they didn’t have a play that went for more than 12 yards, the Patriots earned chunk after chunk of field. They soon found themselves on Miami’s 22-yard line.

That’s when it went south. Jones threw up a 50-50 pass to receiver DeVante Parker and the ball ended up in the hands of Dolphins safety Jevon Holland for an interception. That play served as a bad omen for New England’s passing attack.

“I just kind of misjudged it, so the next time I know, just go up for it,” Parker said after the game.

Fast-forward to the next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jones threw the ball downfield to Parker. Yet again: an interception. This time, Jones was pretty clearly to blame, seeming to not see safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who fielded the pass much easier than Parker could have. The receiver finished the game with zero catches. 

Do Patriots trust Mac Jones to get them to the postseason?

Does Bill Belichick still believe in the second-year QB despite Mac Jones barely throwing the ball in the second half on Sunday against the Steelers? Colin Cowherd reacts to the team’s decision to run the ball more to seal the win.

So far this season, the Patriots have put Parker on the field for 109 snaps, and he still has just one nine-yard catch. Parker, who joined the team in a trade this offseason, has been the team’s WR1 in terms of snaps, but is barely on the stat sheet. 

New England’s top-producing receiver, Jakobi Meyers, is second in snaps. There is no question that he is their most reliable option, mostly lining up in the slot. His usage and production appear to be just right, with Meyers serving as Jones’ go-to option, particularly on third down.

But…


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Publish date : 2022-09-21 16:20:54

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