New England Patriots: Grading the team’s debacle vs. the Saints

Quarterback Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Quarterback Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Quarterback Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Here are the grades on the New England Patriots debacle from Week 3, as the New Orleans Saints completely outplayed the home team in every facet of the game and humiliated them in the process.

Frankly, this was a sickeningly reminiscent performance of New England Patriots teams of the past in the pre-Tom Brady era. Like many of those versions, this team couldn’t do anything right.

Boy, did this writer and lots of other observers get this team wrong. So let’s take a look at all the things that stunk in this dud of a game against a good New Orleans team.

The Patriots spit the bit in each of the three phases of the game Sunday. Not to mention, it was a particularly brutal showing from the coaching staff. Let’s take a look at the three phases and the coaching, and evaluate and grade each.

Grades on all phases of the New England Patriots loss against the Saints

New England Patriots on Offense

For the first time in more than a year, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones had a relatively poor game. He threw for 270 yards on 30 of 51 and a touchdown. But the big stat was three picks.

That’s not going to get it done (no matter how they occur) in the NFL. But it says here it ain’t all on Jones. He’s still lacking the support he needs to get the job done.

The main onus for the poor offensive performance rests primarily on Bill Belichick and his poor offensive line personnel decision-making.

Belichick persists in playing Justin Herron or another waiver wire type at right tackle. It’s not working Bill, and you are on the verge of a one and three start to the season as a stark reminder.

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Belichick has done nothing to plug the massive hole left by Trent Brown’s injury. The annoying part is that he has options.

Once again he didn’t even try them and it cost him the game. Michael Onwenu to right tackle and Ted Karras to left guard is the move. The move wasn’t made. Game over.

The result was that Jones again had little or no time to pass. When he does, it’s not much time. Two of his receivers, Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers, had good statistical games.

But these receivers aren’t game-breakers. The big-money free agent, Nelson Agholor, caught only two passes for a meager 17 yards. That’s not going to get the job done.

The running game also did nothing. But in fairness, there was no room to run. The offensive line didn’t open any holes. The running game had 49 total yards. Pitiful. ‘Nuf said.

And they relied on Brandon Bolden late in the game. See below under coaching. Right now, they are pitiful but it all goes back to the terrible offensive line.