In this new era of the New England Patriots, the offense has consistently failed to deliver in the clutch and put together game-winning drives.

New England’s Week 6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders marked yet another occasion in which Mac Jones in the offense could not capitalize on a late chance to win a game. In 2023 alone, the Patriots are 0-3 on potential drives after squandering chances against the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and the Raiders.

In the latest episode, the Patriots trailed by two with under three minutes to go. A pair of penalties and a major collapse in pass protection ended the drive before it could realistically start when Maxx Crosby sacked Jones for a safety to seal a 21-17 loss for the Patriots.

Now, no one is asking for Mac Jones to be Tom Brady in the fourth quarter. That is in no way realistic for a third-year quarterback who is nearing rock bottom while his predecessor had a record 58 career game-winning drives.

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What can be asked from Jones is increased production when the game is on the line. Now 37 games into his NFL career, Jones has led just one game-winning drive for the Patriots.

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That instance came in Week 5 of his rookie year when New England ran down the clock for a last-second field goal from Nick Folk to beat the winless Houston Texans. Jones went 3-of-5 passing on that drive and converted a first down with a quarterback sneak. New England did get bailed out on third-and-18 when Houston committed a roughing the passer penalty. New England ultimately earned a 25-22 victory.

There have been several factors that have kept the Patriots tiers away from the elite of the NFL for nearly four seasons running. This inability to go on the attack and win games has been an indictment on the team and its quarterback. In order to move forward, both in the immediate of a tough 2023 season and beyond, Jones and the offense must start converting on these late-game chances to take the next step.

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Featured image via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images