Maybe, just maybe, this week will be an opportunity to add some confidence to the room. But the Patriots have seemingly given up on and off the field with some players even voicing their frustrations on social media.
The going theme this year is the Patriots trying to stop the other team’s x-factors without having any of their own to take over the game. This week, Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner is the player the Patriots’ offensive line will be tasked with stopping.
Buckner has the ability to play up and down the defensive line, and he consistently delivers pressure from inside of the pocket, which happens to be the biggest weakness for Mac Jones. He’s also an above average run defender, which could be a real problem for the Patriots as well.
Buckner, 29, was originally selected No. 7 overall in the 2016 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers, but with the 49ers needing to shed salary, he was traded in 2020 to the Colts for the 13th overall draft pick in 2020.
Buckner has continued his dominance on his second contract and is one of the best defensive lineman in the entire NFL. The Patriots will likely have nightmares if they do not find a way to limit his impact on the game.
Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm being out with health-related issues is also noteworthy. That means assistant coach Billy Yates will have his hands full in Germany trying to contain a beast on the line.