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Three Big Concerns The Patriots Need To Fix To Salvage Their Season

Here are three problems the Patriots need to fix for the future

While New England has only played three games so far into the NFL season, there are some glaring problems. The Patriots are looking to build a consistent playoff team, but to do so they must fix these problems.

3. Wide Receiver One

New England definitely made an effort to get better at the receiver position during the off-season. By trading for Devante Parker and drafting Tyquan Thornton, their receiver room definitely took a boost. However, the Patriots must get a true elite receiver. New England has a very limited offense, and they are not built to play from behind. In the competitive AFC, New England is bound to fall behind at some point, and they won’t have the firepower to keep up.

All of the best teams in the AFC have an elite receiver, and it is needed to be able to win a Super Bowl. Getting an elite receiver would also significantly help Mac’s development. Mac Jones will likely not get to his true potential until New England gets an elite receiver. It can be seen with multiple quarterbacks, Josh Allen and Kyler Murray didn’t take their massive leaps until the Cardinals got Deandre Hopkins, and the Bills got Stefon Diggs. Unless Devante Parker is able to play like he did against the Ravens, and consistently get over a hundred yards receiving per game, the Patriots should try to add an elite talent to their receiver room.

Parker’s game is certainly a step in the right direction, however, if such a performance can be repeated. Kendrick Bourne, should be be used as much as he deserves to, could also be a big weapon for the team. The talent is there if it can be harnessed, but even there, the surefire star power isn’t quite present.

2. Tight Ends

The Patriots signed Jonnu Smith to a four year deal worth fifty million dollars, and they signed Hunter Henry to a three year deal worth thirty seven million dollars last off-season. Three weeks in, both Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry have combined for 86 receiving yards. For the money New England invested at the tight end position, they need a lot more production from them.

Jonnu Smith is a dynamic playmaker when he has the ball, but the Patriots have not done a good job utilizing him. Hunter Henry is a great target to have in the red zone, but New England isn’t able to utilize him either. How little impact both tight ends have had last year and this year is a concern New England need to fix. One reason the Patriots aren’t able to properly utilize their tight end may be their offensive coaching.

Part of this lies on the play calling, which will need to improve. Perhaps getting Nick Caley in the mix can help as well.

1. Offensive Coordinator

Josh McDaniels leaving was a big loss for the Patriots, and New England made no effort to get a proven offensive mind to work with the offense. The Patriots named Matt Patricia the offensive coordinator. Considering Matt Patricia has no significant experience coaching offense, this was a major concern. So far, the offensive coaching for the Patriots has been abysmal, showing inexperience and inconsistency.

New England recorded seven points in week one, fourteen in week two, and twenty-six points in week three. There certainly is that positive arc while they get used to things, and the playcalling does have some more structure based on the product on the field. However, in the game New England scored twenty-six they had three interceptions and a fumble, which, while it means they could have scored even more, also means that they’re getting in their own way. The Patriots’ offense has looked very sloppy since the start of the year, and coaching likely has a big role in that.

Also, Mac Jones is just now entering his second year. An inexperienced quarterback paired with a coordinator that has no offensive experience is a bad combination, New England’s offense has been below average to start the year. New England needs to be looking for an established offensive coordinator in the future. The offense will likely consistently be a problem for the Patriots until they pair Mac Jones with an established coach, who also has the ability to call good plays.

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