How Mac Jones Feels About Patriots Offense Being Terrible In Red Zone

'It's just a normal play'

by

November 29, 2022

There’s no sugarcoating it: The Patriots offense has been absolutely miserable in the red zone this season.

Entering Week 13, New England ranked 31st in the NFL with a 38.71 red-zone touchdown percentage. Only Russell Wilson and the lowly Denver Browns posted a worse mark through 13 weeks, scoring touchdowns on just 37.5% of their red-zone trips.

The Patriots’ red-zone woes were especially bad over the last month. In its last four games, New England scored touchdowns on just two of its 10 red-zone trips, including an 0-for-3 effort in last Thursday night’s otherwise encouraging offensive performance against the Vikings in Minnesota.

During a Monday afternoon appearance on WEEI’s “Merloni, Fauria & Mego” show, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones talked about the offense rising to the occasion when it’s deep in an opponent’s territory.

“It’s a flip-the-switch area,” Jones said. “You’re like, ‘Alright, we’re in the red zone.’ You have to have a heightened sense of awareness and really know where you’re at on the field. … We definitely talked about it, and it’s just about execution down there. You can’t look at a red-zone play differently, really, but you kind of have to have that heightened awareness. It’s still a football play and you still have to execute it regardless of where you’re at on the field.”

Jones also indicated that Patriots players might be pressing when they finally enter the red zone.

“We need to realize that it has more significance than a normal play,” he said. “But it really is just a normal play.”

The Patriots offense will face another stiff test Thursday night when New England hosts the Buffalo Bills, who are banged up but still have one of the best defenses in the NFL. New England’s defense might be better equipped this season to slow down the Bills’ explosive offense, but it won’t matter if Jones and the offense don’t hold up their end of the bargain.

In all likelihood, the Patriots won’t win Thursday night if they come up empty in the red zone. They have the talent to get the job done inside the 20-yard line but must stop overthinking the task at hand and start executing at a higher level.

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