Should the Patriots panic over team’s first 0-2 start since 2001?

sports gates الثلاثاء 19 سبتمبر 2023 - 01:08

With a 24-17 loss on “Sunday Night Football” to the division rival Miami Dolphins, the New England Patriots fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2001. The losses, by a combined total of 12 points and both at home, have come down to the final minute of each game.

The Patriots easily could be 2-0, but as Pro Football of Famer Bill Parcells often said, “You are what your record says you are.”

“I know it looks bad when you start [0-2], but this is not a bad team, so don’t get to asking those type of questions,” outside linebacker Matthew Judon said, per Mike Reiss of “I don’t think we’re about to hang our heads in that locker room.”

What has gone wrong and when is it time to panic? Let’s start with third-year QB Mac Jones.

After averaging 7.3 yards per passing attempt during his stellar rookie season and 6.8 in 2022, Jones’ YPG has fallen to 5.6 in 2023. Yes, this season is a small sample size, but it’s a worrisome trend. 

In two games against the Dolphins last season, Jones averaged 7.9 yards per attempt. 

The Patriots have only produced 164 yards rushing and played from behind in the second half of each game. That puts Jones under pressure to make plays with his arm. A leaky offensive line, however, hasn’t given him much time to throw, forcing him into quick reads. 

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