Biggest Problem For Patriots Offense? This NFL Pundit Has An Opinion

'This is the most predictable offense in the NFL right now'


Dec 22, 2022

There is no doubt that the New England Patriots’ offense is an issue. But what specifically has led to a season’s worth of problems?

The Patriots have averaged a total of 21.4 points per game, which is 17th in the NFL. Not so bad right? Wrong. New England ranks 23rd in passing yards, 19th in rushing yards and 25th in first down percentage per game. Those are bad numbers no matter which way you slice it. But, again, the question remains what has led to the issues.

ESPN analyst and former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky seems to have an opinion.

“Predictability,” Orlovsky said on “NFL Live” on Wednesday. “This is the most predictable offense in the NFL right now… Last week this team was under center for 23 snaps. 22 out of those 23 snaps were runs. This is excluding inside the five, so goal line or two-minute drill.

“They were in the gun for 40 (total) snaps, so excluding the two-minute drill, they through the ball 31 out of 34 snaps (from shotgun).”

That’s right, Orlovsky brought the receipts.

For an issue that started relatively early, there has been little done by Matt Patricia and company to remedy the Patriots’ anemic offense. In fact, the entire unit took a ricochet shot when Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph clowned Patricia for his play calling.

Orlovsky’s crew went into further detail explaining how the Patriots’ offensive philosophy has doomed them this season. In non-goal line situations, New England has thrown the ball out of shotgun 77% of the time and run the ball from under center 72% of the time. The only issue is, that unit has had much more success when mixing it up. The Patriots are averaging 10.1 yards per pass attempt from under center (fifth in the NFL) compared to a 6.6 yards per attempt in shotgun (20th).

Sure, just doing the opposite of those examples isn’t going to fix things over night. But becoming less predictable, as Orlovsky has argued, surely can’t make things worse.

No matter what they decide to do, the Patriots offense will need to be much better moving forward if they hope to secure one of the final playoff spots in the AFC. That all starts with their Week 16 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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