February 9, 2023

Filipino Guardian

Sentinels of Filipino Free Press

The New England Patriots defeat the Arizona Cardinals

MacJones

Who? Mac JonesImage: Getty Images

It’s easy to laugh when your team is up by two touchdowns. Jokes and giggles abound as the Colt McCoy-led Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray left the game after suffering a non-contact injury – flipped the ball on back-to-back possessions, the first of which was converted for a touchdown.

Once the game gets to that point, no one cares that the struggling New England Patriots quarterback foregoes the offensive coordinator on national television. Instead, Matt Patricia and Mac Jones enjoy a light-hearted moment on the sidelines while the game is in good control. If the Las Vegas Raiders don’t fire Josh McDaniels in the next 24 hours and the Patriots rehire him as offensive coordinator before their Sunday trip to Sin City, another wildcard loss to the Buffalo Bills is likely the best the Pats can do this season.

Jones has clearly regressed. In 2021, he was the top quarterback in his rookie class and even got one of those backup appearances at the Pro Bowl prom. Even if the league had decided against abolishing its Tackle Football All-Star game, the only way he would have made the team fit for a second straight season was by crossing a picket line.

Though it’s been a tough sophomore year for him, maybe some of his fights could have been avoided if the Patriots didn’t take the Cap berth for several non-No. would have wasted. 1 wide receiver options. Jakobi Meyers is a solid NFL player, but no quarterback would think, “Get lost, Jakobi’s down there somewhere.”

Offensive playmaking talent is always helpful for a young quarterback, but real offensive coaching staff would have been even better. Instead, New England decided it was not necessary to appoint an offensive coordinator to start the season. And your quarterbacks coach? That would be former Giants head coach Joe Judge (for all two seasons). Previously, Judge rose through the coaching ranks primarily as a special teams coordinator. There’s a lot to learn in this role, but probably not the skills needed to nurture a young quarterback.

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So who names the games for the Patriots? Currently that would be the defense specialist Patricia. As great as Bill Belichick is as a head coach, his decision to throw darts against a wall for an offensive coaching staff is why his players were upset about the play-calling and heard Jones swearing on prime-time TV.

Belichick could get away with an unconventional offensive line if Tom Brady was still his quarterback, but they’re currently starting the No. 15 pick in the 2021 NFL draft. When it comes to developing a lasting starter, it needs nurturing. Instead, all Jones was presented with was inexperience and a lack of clarity.

Luckily for New England, Belichick could be the greatest defenseman in NFL history. That defense—that lost talent at liberty in the offseason—is a dominating unit. That’s the main reason the Patriots are holding on to this final AFC playoff berth. Rhamondre Stevenson was a productive running back, but prior to last night the Patriots hadn’t had a rushing touchdown in five weeks. He also went down with an injury and didn’t finish the game.

Kyler Murray’s injury definitely put the Cardinals in a tough spot last night, but this organization has problems of its own. With many Pats fans in the stands in Glendale, Arizona, this injury made it all the more likely that Belichick’s team would secure a win and take their record to over .500.

While that was the bottom line, don’t pat the Patriots on the back too hard. They failed their young quarterback in his sophomore season. Holding onto the last – extended – playoff spot by defeating a team that turned the ball on back-to-back possessions doesn’t change that.