The Patriots did nothing Sunday to quell concerns about their offense, as Mac Jones and company struggled in New England’s 20-7 defeat at Hard Rock Stadium. If anything, the season-opening performance raised even more questions about the Patriots’ potential, and FS1’s Nick Wright is among those ready to sound the alarm after just one week.
“It’s a five-alarm fire. Oh, it’s a five-alarm fire,” Wright said Tuesday on “First Things First.” “Mac Jones was terrible. I don’t know, he had two turnovers — one of them directly led to a touchdown, which equaled how many total touchdowns the Patriots offense had. The offense is going to be one of the six worst in the NFL. That’s gonna happen.
“They had two major offseason offensive additions. One was Cole Strange, the draft pick that nobody understood why they drafted him. He got benched during the game. They didn’t put him back in. The other was DeVante Parker, the wide receiver who — Warren Sharp just pointed this out — is 72nd out of 72 qualifiers of wide receivers as far as getting separation. He played 100 percent of the snaps and caught one ball and was targeted twice.
“And I usually wouldn’t say this, but they didn’t look as well coached as usual.”
The Patriots now travel to Pittsburgh for a Week 2 matchup with the Steelers, who are coming off a hard-fought overtime victory against the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers will be without All-Pro edge rusher T.J. Watt, who suffered an injury Sunday in Cincinnati, and the Patriots have been installed as short favorites for the intraconference clash, but it’s clear New England needs to be better moving forward.
The problem? The Patriots might not have the personnel to bounce back and build upon a 2021 season in which they went 10-7 and made the playoffs before losing to the Buffalo Bills in the AFC wild-card round.
“This was Bill Belichick’s 35th game he has coached since Tom Brady went to Tampa — 35 games,” Wright said of Sunday’s loss. “He’s now under .500 — 17-18 post-Brady for the New England Patriots. So yeah, I’d be a little concerned.”