In one of their biggest additions this offseason, the New England Patriots brought in Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator to fix the team’s offense and presumably give it a more modern look.

While O’Brien’s fingerprints on an offense, which was a train wreck a season ago, should elevate it, an NFL analyst isn’t convinced that New England’s attack will look like those from across the league.

Instead, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky believes the Patriots are going to go back in time with their offensive approach.

“The Patriots are going to try and play a style of football they did in the early 2000’s and one that only one team in the AFC will — Tenn,” Orlovsky posted to social media Tuesday. “Great defense. Dominate on the ground. Efficient pass game that’s matchup driven. As always, zig when they zag.”

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Orlovsky’s take comes after the Patriots signed three-time Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott to a one-year deal Monday. Elliott will serve as a complement to lead running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who is coming off a strong season in which the 25-year-old not only ran for 1,040 yards on 210 carries with five touchdowns, but also recorded 69 receptions for 421 yards.

But there is a hole in Orlovsky’s argument. While there are signs that the Patriots could have yet another stellar defensive unit, especially with Christian Gonzalez and Keion White entering the mix, and Mac Jones should improve under the tutelage of O’Brien, it’s tough envisioning New England’s ground game being dominant at the moment.

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And that’s not because of their stable of backs, but due to their inconsistent offensive line. The offensive line failed miserably in the Patriots preseason opener last Thursday against the Houston Texans, albeit with backups playing.

A line comprised of Trent Brown, Cole Strange, David Andrews, Michael Onwenu and Riley Reiff is solid, but it doesn’t inspire confidence that the Patriots can generate enough offense on the ground. And that’s if that line stays intact. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Trent Brown checks out and Michael Onwenu still hasn’t practiced this summer. Cole Strange also dealt with an injury in training camp and it’s no guarantee he makes a second-year leap. And it’s unclear if New England will get anything productive out of Reiff.

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The Patriots finished with the ninth-fewest rushing yards per game in 2022, so they would have to improve dramatically to be one of the top rushing units in the league.

New England doesn’t have any high-end playmakers on offense, and when that happens, teams have to play football like it’s the mid-2000s.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images