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#pounditTuesday, September 27, 2022

Patriots’ offense getting awful reviews over scheme change

Aug 12, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones 10) throws the ball during a game against the Washington Football Team at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have consistently been running the same basic offensive scheme for two decades. That may be changing this season, and that change is apparently proving to be quite a difficult one.

The Patriots have begun to implement zone-blocking schemes in their offense this year, a departure from their gap-heavy rushing attack of years past. Whether this is used in games remains to be seen, but Patriots team reporter Evan Lazar suggested that the offense is “struggling to execute” the new zone schemes.

The reviews got even more scathing on Monday. Phil A. Perry of NBC Sports Boston said the offense looked “broken.” Colleague Tom E. Curran concurred, calling the offense “distressingly bad” and singling out the offensive line as a major problem spot.

Poor blocking has consistently been a theme of reports from Patriots camp. Only a few days ago, the issue seemed to be impacting quarterback Mac Jones’ ability to operate.

The Patriots have declined to formally name an offensive coordinator this year. Instead, the job appears to be a collaboration between trusted Bill Belichick lieutenants Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, neither of whom comes from an offensive coaching background. Between that and the apparent scheme tweak, things could be quite rocky for New England’s offense this season.

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