Vince Wilfork: Time for Patriots to 'take the handcuffs off this offense'

Wilfork: Time for Pats to 'take the handcuffs off this offense' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots are fresh off the bye week as they prepare for a big Week 11 matchup vs. the New York Jets. It's the start of a pivotal stretch for Bill Belichick's group as they eye a spot in the postseason.

To make their dream of a playoff berth a reality, the offense will need to improve in the second half of the campaign. The first half was marred by chaos at the quarterback position and poor offensive line play, resulting in the Patriots ranking 26th in total yards per game (319.9) and having the third-most turnovers (17) through the first 10 weeks.

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Now that quarterback Mac Jones and Co. have a fresh start, Patriots great Vince Wilfork believes its time for the coaching staff to let the offense loose.

"They haven't played their best football yet," Wilfork said on "The Gameplan". "They've been going out and -- mistakes here and there, and really not getting going the way they should be. It's at the point now where you have to take the handcuffs off this offense. You've got to take the handcuffs off this quarterback, these receivers, and we've got to go. We don't have time to baby nobody and test the water. Testing the water is over.

"So they have to come out firing. They have to put trust in Mac that, hey, it is what it is. We have to get the ball downfield at times, we have to take shots at times, we have to be aggressive. I think once they start doing that and make a couple plays, it will give confidence to the whole team."

With eight games remaining, Wilfork says it's time to play with a sense of urgency.

"The training wheels have to be able to come off because you're getting to the point in the season where you have to win ballgames," he added. "That's just what it is, and you want to start putting your best foot forward.

"Coming off a bye, you never know what we have stirred up, so hopefully it'll be a different story with the offense being more aggressive and Mac Jones kind of taking charge of that and trusting that he can get the job done."

The Patriots defeated the Jets on the road in their Week 8 showdown, 22-17. The rematch is set for 1 p.m. ET Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

You can watch the full segment with Wilfork on "The Gameplan" below: