The New England Patriots beat their rivals the New York Jets 22-17 away at MetLife Stadium shattering the Jets hopes that they’d turn the tables on their old nemesis. They didn’t. A good game by Mac Jones with two touchdown passes and five field goals by MVP Nick Folk helped ice the Jets.
The Patriots evened their record at 4-4 and while still in last place in the AFC East, they remain in the hunt for a playoff spot. With this in mind, what should the team do between now and the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday?
The Patriots should be very active at the trade deadline. They should go all-in and try to shore up at least three positions that desperately need an upgrade. Let’s take a look.
The New England Patriots need two offensive players
The Patriots are still in the hunt for a playoff spot but their offense while decent needs help, and soon. That would be in the next two days before the trade deadline on Tuesday.
The first need on offense is an offensive tackle. That position was advocated in this space for a high pick in the draft. They passed. It’s showing up now as a big mistake. They can rectify it by making a move for a starting offensive tackle.
As hoped-for here, Isaiah Wynn has flopped at offensive right tackle (ORT) and he can be traded. He’s been replaced by old friend, Marcus Cannon. He’s also been a huge disappointment. Witness the ridiculous six sacks of Mac Jones against the Jets. That’s unacceptable and to win despite that abomination is unusual.
If this team actually thinks it can continue to compete for a playoff spot, they need another starting offensive tackle. Alternatively, the team can move Michael Onwenu back to ORT and move someone else (or trade for someone) to play right guard. That’s necessity number one.
Secondly, on offense, the Patriots can’t get the ball into the end zone enough. They’ve settled for field goals far too often. What needs to be added? They still need a game-breaking offensive player, especially a wide receiver. Christian McCaffrey would have been great. They passed.
Veterans Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne have added little this season and can be traded. Second-round pick Tyquan Thornton has done virtually nothing, as well with just seven catches in four games played. The need remains for a wide receiver who can take the top off a defense. Go get one.
New England Patriots need a right edge player on defense
The Pats are still in the hunt but to advance, they need another edge rusher to complement Super Matt Judon and play on the right edge of the defense. Neither Josh Uche, Anfernee Jennings, nor whoever else has been put there has made an impact.
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The Patriots if they are serious about a playoff run have to get one of these players to complement Judon. It’s imperative. They get pressure on opposing quarterbacks from Judon on the left, but they have no one who can sack the quarterback from the right edge.
Those are just three positions that need to be upgraded. Surely, there are others. But it’s time for the Patriots football management to make a decision to either go for the gusto and a playoff spot by making the necessary deals or just go through the motions and probably fail to do so.
Patriot Nation will know by Tuesday afternoon if their team is serious about a playoff run. If they stand pat, they aren’t, and they won’t get there. Their personnel is just not good enough and frankly, neither is their offensive coaching but that’s another story altogether.