Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith still has a chance to prove his worth in 2021

New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
New England Patriots (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots are suddenly riding a two-game losing streak and it has mostly been due to the team getting off to slow starts offensively.  What can get it back on track? Well, perhaps finally getting tight end Jonnu Smith going in the offense.

Blame Mac Jones all you want, but other than the quarterback going through his hardships late in the season, the offense has lacked a consistent pass-catching threat who can stretch the field.  A player who can be a mismatch for most defenses, a player who can make plays after the catch, a player exactly like Smith who the team signed to a four-year, $50 million deal prior to the season.

With just 27 catches for 274 yards, it is safe to say that through the first 15 games, Smith has been a bit of a disappointment.

The New England Patriots need Jonnu Smith to step up as a viable offensive threat

While a percentage of that could be attributed to the tight end leaving some plays out there on the field, some of the blame can go to New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who admitted he needs to do a better job drawing up plays that would exemplify Smith’s skillset.

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"“He’s a player that can do some things with the ball in his hands,” McDaniels told reporters, as transcribed by WEEI.  “We know that.  Very talented guy, works really hard.  I’ve got to do better to get him the ball.”"

With his speed and size, Jonnu Smith does have the ability to provide a spark in the offense.  While the team has attempted some sweeps and screens to get Smith in the mix, there has been times when trying to force the ball to Smith has led to turnovers.  So, in that respect McDaniels and Mac Jones must be careful and let the tight end ease into the flow of games.

While the New England Patriots have used Smith as a blocker, it really is time, over these next two games to see what they really have in the pass catching ability of Smith.  They have developed a chemistry between Jones and Hunter Henry, they have also established some of that same chemistry between Jones and Kendrick Bourne.  Now, if they could just get a talent like Smith in the mix, it could make life easier for the rookie quarterback.

But other than the Patriots rookie getting him the ball, it is up to the mind of McDaniels to create plays that will really set the talent of Jonnu Smith loose, which would be perfect timing for an offense that is starting to stagger as defenses are forcing Mac Jones to make plays through the air.

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As a big target with athleticism, the New England Patriots tight end should have an opportunity to prove his worth over these last two games and hopefully into the playoffs.  Calling him a secret weapon may be extreme, but Smith is certainly and X-factor on offense.  If he finds his niche, it could change things for Jones, McDaniels and the Patriots’ offense.