New England Patriots: NFL’s slow news period has this shining aspect

Jun 8, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during the New England Patriots minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 8, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) during the New England Patriots minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s the dead zone in the New England Patriots season when after mandatory OTA’s nothing is happening except the wait for summer camp to begin.

Beat writers and others try to dream up topics for articles that might get anything other than a yawn from even the most ardent NFL and in this case Patriot fans.

As the clock ticks down to the 2022 camp’s beginning for the Patriots on Wednesday, July 27 about three weeks from now, little if anything is happening for Patriots Nation to get worked up about. Or is there?

The draft and free agency are done. Trades are pretty much exhausted. All there is nothing to do now really but wait except, for maybe for one thing perhaps that should be juicing every Patriot fan’s anxiousness for the season to get underway.  And that would be the most exciting prospect for the New England Patriots 2022 season.

The New England Patriots season totally hinges on one thing

The most exciting prospect upon which the entire season will revolve is the maturation of one Mac Jones, second-year quarterback, and what he can do as the leader of a revamped and potentially fearsome offensive machine emanating from Foxborough.

Why the hype, and why the hope for an offensive explosion to carry the Patriots to more than the predicted 8.5 or so wins in 2022? Let’s take a look. And it will be a good look, at that.

Quite simply, Jones and his new crew could be poised to light up the NFL’s AFC East and cause trouble even for the juggernaut known as the Buffalo Bills. And make no mistake about it Pats Nation, the Buffalo Bills are a true juggernaut. The years of haplessness and hopelessness in Buffalo fueled by Tom Brady’s dominance are over.

The Bills are the holders of the AFC East crown two years running, a crown that sat on the heads of Brady and his cohorts for about two decades. To be the best, you have to beat the best and that’s what Mac Jones and his crew must be poised to try to do, beat the Bills.

Why New England Patriots offense can lead them again to the playoffs

Jones is being touted as an updated version of his already quite proficient rookie self of 2021. That’s for good reasons, plural. First, Jones has gotten himself into tip-top condition. That’s not just a nice adjunct to his accurate passing. It’s another arrow in the quiver of the Patriots offense.

Jones can run, and in his slimmed-down physical condition, he’ll run a lot faster than many observers surmise. Those are the ones that saw a photo last year and since then haven’t paid enough attention. He was never a slug on the field, even when out-of-shape. Now that he’s in top condition, he’ll be an asset with his feet, as well. That’s right, his running ability will not just be an accompaniment, but a true asset.

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Jones’ ability to tuck the ball under his arm and run on occasion will present big problems for opposing defenses. Don’t come up to challenge a rollout or an RPO play? Great, Jones will gouge you for five or 10 on a run. Come up and challenge him at the line of scrimmage? Nice, he’ll use his pinpoint accuracy to gash you for 15 or 20 yards in passes to his revamped receiving corps.

The game has changed for the New England Patriots’ offense and it’s not good news for their opponents. They had an unsettled offensive line earlier, but they now look to have an as good or even possibly better (and more astutely deployed) line than in 2021. And if Jonnu Smith delivers on his potential as a complement to Hunter Henry, even better things can be expected there.

And let’s not forget the loaded Patriots running back room. AFC East and other opponents can expect the Patriots to run the ball right at them, and around them. Expect it and fear it Patriots’ opponents. It’s coming to a stadium near you. The Patriots will beat you with the run too.

With all this optimism, there is a word of caution. While the offense has improved significantly, the defense hasn’t. In fact, at best, it’s stagnated. At worst, it’s regressed. That’s why this optimism has to be tempered with reality.

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It’s all on the Patriots’ offense to lead this team to victory by outscoring their opposition which you must expect will score in bunches. And it’s going to take a lot of Patriots points to overcome this with the defense they can currently deploy.

As they say in Foxborough, it is what it is. We’ll see if that offense has improved enough to make up for the team’s obvious defensive deficiencies. It will be an interesting take. for sure.