The New England Patriots have had a very slow start going 2-8 through the first ten games of the 2023 NFL season. Changes need to be made. Here are two clear problems that New England needs to fix to become a contender again.
Wide Receiver Play
While Mac Jones has regressed from his rookie year where he threw for close to 4,000 yards, the situation around him has gotten worse every year. Jones entered the NFL with Josh McDaniels, a trusted, veteran offensive mind and he had his best year. Since then, Jones has been on a downward trajectory, and so have his receivers.
Mac Jones has not had a star receiver with him throughout his entire NFL career. Jones has played with the likes of Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, and Devante Parker. All these receivers have efficiency and can produce, but they're not stars who will overwhelmingly help a quarterback. Giving a young quarterback a safety net who is consistent at generating separation is key for quarterback development.
This can be seen with Josh Allen breaking out when getting Stefon Diggs, Tua having a career year with Tyreek Hill, and Jalen Hurts becoming a star after the Eagles traded for A.J. Brown. Mac Jones doesn't seem to be the answer at quarterback for the Patriots, but he's also never had a fair shot given the lack of receiving talent he's had around him.
When New England drafted Mac Jones in the 2021 NFL Draft, he was perceived to have the lowest ceiling out of all of the prospects. Mac is a pure pocket passer who's accurate, but his arm strength and mobility are limited.
Having a limited quarterback in this era of the NFL makes it incredibly hard to win. With dynamic AFC quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert, you need a star to win. Even in his best year so far Mac Jones has never shown signs of being a star, and even with a star receiver, his ceiling is limited.
To win in the NFL you need to be able to trust your quarterback to make plays, and the Patriots cannot right now. A star quarterback can overcome some of the roster deficiencies around them, such as Patrick Mahomes when he lost Tyreek Hill, or for example, when Justin Herbert in his rookie year had a bottom three offensive line but still broke the rookie record for touchdowns with 31. The Patriots need a star at quarterback, and they are in a prime spot to get a top quarterback prospect.
Use code STADIUMRANT20 for a 20% discount at, Bulletproof Coffee, SwingJuice for your golf apparel needs, and Performix for protein and health supplements. If you're a fan of shotgunning beers, use code STADIUMRANT10 at Wild Man Drinking Company