Patriots’ offense getting awful reviews over scheme change
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.
Patriots defense is running roughshod over the offense. Highlights for that side were “sacks” by Christian Barmore and Matt Judon during a third-down period.
Offense looks broken. Can’t protect. Losing 1-on-1s. Blitzes getting through. No run game. Miscommunication on routes.
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) August 8, 2022
Patriots No. 1 offense today has been distressingly bad. Run stuffs. Aborted plays. Would-be sacks. Distress lobs into traffic just to get ball out. Beginning to feel it’s less the new offense and more the post-Scar cycle of OL coaches. They are perpetually overwhelmed.
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) August 8, 2022
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.