Patriots try flea-flicker vs. Bills with disastrous results

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  • Buffalo Bills
    Buffalo Bills
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  • New England Patriots
    New England Patriots
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Back in the Tom Brady era, the Patriots would call flea-flicker passes so that Brady could exploit openings in coverage downfield, and those trick plays generally worked. New England rookie quarterback Mac Jones has been pretty decent for the most part this season, but he’s not been able to consistently challenge defenses with explosive plays on downfield passes. Coming into the Patriots’ Sunday tilt against the Bills, Jones had completed just 17 of 47 attempts of 20 or more air yards for 536 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions, and a passer rating of 74.4.

Jones had tried just one flea-flicker pass this season with no completions, and this attempt against Buffalo with 1:51 left in the first quarter. Jones got the ball back from running back Brandon Bolden with pre-snap motion from receiver Gunner Olszewski, and from there, Jones was unable to decipher any intermediate or deep receivers against Buffalo’s single-high coverage.

So, Jones tried a shovel pass to Bolden instead, which would have gained 13 yards… were it not for a holding penalty against tight end Jonnu Smith, who was caught getting a bit too aggressive against veteran pass-rusher Jerry Hughes.

Maybe it’s best to put the flea-flicker away until Mr. Jones can figure out Buffalo’s pass defense in base concepts.