New England Patriots overcome poor coaching to beat the Titans

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots overcame some poor coaching decisions to beat a game, but severely wounded, (as in injured) Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. Mac Jones, take a bow!

Jones had a fine game, completing 23 of 32 for 310 yards and two touchdowns. Yet, that was a pedestrian game for the precocious rookie, completing just under 72 percent of his passes.

So now after the team’s biggest win of the season why would there be any comments that weren’t filled with overflowing compliments? Because there are things that have to be noted.

The win shows that the Patriots can not only play with the big boys of the NFL but can beat them. That’s a good thing. But things have to be cleaned up if they are to achieve their loftiest goals

New England Patriots need better coaching to challenge for all the marbles

Let’s take a look at what has to be cleaned up by the coaching staff and the team if they are to keep a top spot in the AFC and advance deep into the playoffs.

First, the coaches have to get their heads on straight. Though it was crystal clear to any observer, they weren’t able to run the ball against Tennessee for most of the game.

It’s going to take a closer look to determine just why not, but it was clear, they couldn’t run against the Titans. Their 23 yards on the ground in the first half should be a clear indication enough.

Yet early on, the New England Patriots continued to bang away with straight ahead inside the tackles runs which were summarily snuffed out by the mostly well-coached Titans.

For reference, the Titans had two of players break the 100 yard threshold. On most occasions against a top team, that would be the end of the story. You just lose. So please, clean that up.

Second, the Patriots persisted in using Mac Jones under center on runs that are telegraphed if they use that formation. Just can that, running with Jones under center.

If you’re going to put Mac Jones under center, he has to use play-action. He’s a master at that phase of the game. But a straight run with Jones under center just doesn’t work well.

A third beef with the coaching has to be their misuse of terrific rookie defensive tackle, Christian Barmore. They are failing to get the most out of this top rookie.

How is that? Barmore is at his very best in one position, the one technique in the A-gap right on the center’s nose. There are few, if any, NFL centers that can contain Barmore at that position.

He’s too strong. Too powerful. Too impactful. Yet too often, the Patriots’ defensive coaches, whoever they are, persist in rushing him from off the guard tackle spots as a B-gap player.

That’s the wrong position for the top rookie, folks. Since they signed nose tackle Davon Godchaux in free agency, they seem to want to persist in playing him in the A-gap.

They should scrap that plan. Use Godchaux elsewhere and put Barmore right over the center. It’s his best position and he’s a devastating force there. It’s a no-brainer.

Don’t believe this? Take look at the tape in the fourth quarter when Barmore was used over the center, he was essentially unblockable. And this sets up his teammates for big plays.

Next. Time to acknowledge Kendrick Bourne's play. dark

So those are a few observations of some poor coaching decisions in the big win over the Tennessee Titans. A win is a win and this one was major. So congratulations are definitely in order.

But, if the Patriots want to get where some foolish prognosticator suggested earlier, they need to clean up these problems.

If they do, the sky’s the limit with Mac Jones at the helm. Nothing is unachievable for them in the NFL once again. And that includes the top prize of all.