Greg Bedard: Patriots offense playing 'playground football'

·3 min read

Bedard: Patriots offense playing 'playground football' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots offense didn't inspire much confidence with its performance throughout camp and preseason. Sunday's Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins only made matters worse.

It was all downhill for the Patriots after their encouraging opening drive. The offensive line allowed two sacks and three hits on quarterback Mac Jones, including a strip-sack that resulted in a Dolphins touchdown. Jones also threw an interception in the 20-7 defeat.

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New England has received plenty of criticism after its lackluster showing, and rightfully so. Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard was among those with harsh words for the Matt Patricia and Joe Judge-led offense.

"Just completely static at the line," Bedard said Tuesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Felger & Mazz". "There's nothing going on. No motion. No play-caller helping the scheme, helping out the players, helping out the quarterback to try to take advantage. As an offensive coordinator, you're paid to anticipate what they're going to do here."

Jones and the Patriots succeeded in moving the ball down the field during Sunday's game, but they ended up with only one touchdown to show for it. Bedard pointed out specific plays that resulted in the offense looking completely out of sync.

"Play-action, I think there was one play-action play in the whole game. That's been the staple around here forever and if you're gonna run like the Shanahan system, you run these runs and then you make the passes look like the runs, and you get the linebacker sucked in," Bedard said. "They run one play of play-action and they actually have it. It's supposed to be, I think, (Jakobi) Meyers underneath on a low crosser and then (Nelson) Agholor's supposed to come over the top and one of them should be open. Agholor all of a sudden stops and runs in the other direction, and him and Meyers almost run into each other again.

"The fourth-down play, that's one of the plays where I think DeVante Parker ran the wrong route. Mac Jones looks at him and Mac Jones I think was waiting for Parker just to stop. If he would have just stopped in the soft spot in the zone, conversion, keep going. But Parker keeps going down the field. That's when Mac Jones started looking all over the place, pointing 'hey, go deep.'

"It's playground football. In the biggest spots in the game, the Patriots are playing playground football. It's just a mess at this point."

Things won't get any easier for the Patriots offense in Week 2. They'll travel to Pittsburgh for a difficult matchup against a Steelers defense that forced five turnovers in a Week 1 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. If the offensive line's woes continue, New England could be in for another long Sunday afternoon.

Kickoff for Pats-Steelers is set for 1 p.m. ET.